Cariboo Map

Ashcroft Manor

Hat Creek Ranch

Clinton Hotel

Pollards Cornish Ranch and Roadhouse

59 Mile House

70 Mile House

100 Mile House

105 Mile House

108 Mile House

118 Mile House

150 Mile House

Quesnel Hudson's Bay Company Store



Clinton Hotel

In the spring of 1861 George and Robert Watson began to build a new log structure which became the famous Clinton Hotel.
BC Archives A-00346
Bill Bose's Ox Team in front of Clinton Hotel

In 1863 the Watsons placed an ad in the Victoria Colonist stating that they had,

"...built a new building which had a large bar-room, a private sitting room and free beds to people that brought their own blankets."

They supposedly leased this new hotel to Billy McKinnon. This lease ended in 1867 and the land was sold to Joe Smith, Mary Smith and Tom Marshall.
BC Archives A-03507
Stagecoaches in front of
Clinton Hotel 1865

Some sources state that, in 1863, the Smiths and Marshall moved to Clinton and bought the hotel from the Watson brothers.

After they bought this land they built a wing onto the roadhouse. In this wing that was built onto the hotel was a billiard room and lady's parlor.

Joe Smith held the first annual Clinton Ball in the hotel's billiard room in 1868. The ball was created to take away the winter blues.

It was a 4 hour sleigh ride from 70 Mile House to Clinton,

"Left 70 Mile House @ 2 pm, reached Clinton @ 6pm fine sleighing but tired team. Dined at Smiths (Clinton) Hotel then spent the evening between Popes and Fosters."
A.T. Bushby Diaires, BC Archives MS-0809, vol.2, pp.1-25
BC Archives E-05434
December 25, 1894
Tickets for this ball cost five dollars per person, which included two nights of bed and breakfast. This also included room and board for two horses.

Later when Smith died Marshall married his widow, Mary. When Marshall died he left the roadhouse and its land for Joseph Smith Jr. and Mary.

Across the road from the Clinton Hotel there was a toll booth which was built in 1863 and used until 1868. This toll booth was created to pay Gustavus Wright, the road builder, for his work. The white toll gate that had belonged to the toll booth can be seen in old photos of the hotel.

The land changed hands in 1912 when Smith Jr sold it to the Wardell family.
BC Archives C-01215
Oldest Stove in British Columbia,
Clinton Hotel c. 1920

Memories of a modern day prospector, Tom Belanger speaking of the Clinton Hotel in 1956 and 1957 include,
"There was a large pot-belly stove, and an enormous fireplace that was large enough for cord-wood sized logs." (Cariboo Calling, The legacy of the old Clinton hotel, 1998)
BC Archives E-05210
Clinton Hotel c.1950

For nearly 100 years the Clinton Hotel was the landmark on the Cariboo Wagon Road (now Hwy. 97). The Clinton Hotel burned down at approximately 3:45 a.m. on May 15, 1958.
BC Archives I-29184
Clinton Hotel 1958

Last updated November 30, 1998.
Produced by Carollyne Yardley
Industrial Art Internet Group Ltd. 1998-1999