Hope BC - History of Hope (Highlights)

The History of Hope can be divided into thousands of years of First Nations settlement and a European settlement period from 1808 to this present day. Hope's First Nations settlement period begins in the Fraser Valley approximately 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, when the Sto:lo First Nations were in the area. The European settlement period of Hope history begins in 1808. Explorer Simon Fraser arrived in what is now Hope in 1808, and the Hudson's Bay Company created the Fort Hope trading post in 1848. The area was transformed by the "Fraser Canyon Gold Rush", beginning in 1858. Hope incorporated as a village on April 6th 1929, became a Town on January 1st 1965, and was reincorporated as a District Municipality named the District of Hope on December 7th 1992.

Hope BC Royal Train 1951
Photo taken in Hope BC, October 20, 1951 - Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. Elizabeth was a Princess and her husband was Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh. They were on their way to Vancouver BC. The trees in the background are still there today, on the R&R Recycling side of the tracks.
(© Copyright: 1951-2011 / All rights reserved)

YearsHistorical Highlights
- First Nations people have lived along the Fraser River for many thousands of years
1808Simon Fraser arrived in Hope after his journey through the Canyon. In the employ of the Northwest Fur Trading Company, he travels down the Fraser River and declares it not a suitable trade route.
1821Northwest Company and Hudson's Bay Company amalgamate.
1824Fort Langley established as a Hudson's Bay Company Fort supplying company ships coming by sea.
1828HBCo Governor George Simpson travels the Fraser River by canoe and confirms Frasers opinion about its use as a trade route.
1846Oregon Treaty establishes the 49th Parallel as the boundary between British and American territory west of the Rocky Mountains.
1847Indian warfare closed the Columbia Basin to trade and fear of U.S. taxation on furs caused James Douglas to order the construction of an alternate road through the Fraser Canyon. The last fur caravan passed down the old brigade trail along the hillsides above Great Okanagan Lake.
1848Hope BC was founded in 1848 as a Hudson's Bay Company fort for use as a fur brigade outpost.
1848Hudson's Bay Company establishes Fort Yale and Fort Hope.
1848The barely passable Hope Trail was used for the first time, which opened the lower Fraser River as a commercial highway.
1858Vancouver Island and New Caledonia combine to form British Columbia, with the capital at New Westminster. James Douglas, a former HBCo factor, is Governor.
1858Beginning of the Fraser River Gold Rush.
1858Royal Engineers are dispatched to establish British presence and build roads and buildings in the Interior.
1858First steamboat "The Surprise" docks at Hope.
1858Gold was discovered in the Fraser River above Hope. Trails were cut from Bellingham Bay through dense forests to Fort Hope. Sternwheelers began to provide transportation on the Fraser River to Fort Hope and Fort Yale. The first sawmill on the BC Mainland was constructed at Fort Yale. The first ferry crossing was made at Spuzzum. Lower Fraser Valley population tripled.
1859Fort Hope and Fort Yale townsites laid out by James Douglas. Royal Engineers started construction of Cariboo Road through Fraser Canyon.
1860James Douglas ordered a trail to be built from Hope to the Rockies. Edgar Dewdney and Walter Moberly opened the Dewdney Trail from Hope to Similkameen (presently followed by Highway 3). St. John the Divine Anglican Church built by Royal Engineers in Yale.
1861Christ Church was built and consecrated in late 1859. Reverend Alexander St. David Francis Pringle arrived in Hope and in 1861, he founded Christ Church (Anglican). Today, Christ Church is the oldest church on the B.C. mainland still holding services on its original site.
1863The first Alexandra Suspension Bridge is built across the Fraser River. The bridge was designed by Trutch, a future premier, and built by the Royal Engineers.
1863Last ferry crossing at Spuzzum. The first Alexandra Bridge built at Spuzzum by Joseph Trutch. The Cariboo Wagon Road completed Yale to Quesnel.
1866The two colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia united to become the Colony of British Columbia.
1867Confederation of 4B colonies to the east.
1868At Yale, a convention of British Columbia political leaders, who advocate a union with Canada.
1868British Columbia politicians and businessmen meet to discuss the possibility of union with Canada at the Yale Confederation Convention.
1869The Dominion of Canada acquired Hudson's Bay Company lands of the Northwest. First proposal of a railway to link British Columbia with the rest of Canada.
1871British Columbia becomes a province of Canada.
1871BC joins Confederation with the province of a railroad link in five years.
1871Hope became part of Canada in 1871.
1880-1888Construction of CPR railway through the Fraser Canyon required supply of bridge timbers and trestle material. Emory City established at Emory Creek - site of first newspaper published on BC Mainland, first locomotive landed in BC for use in CPR construction.
Hope BC CNR Train 1913
The Cloverdale Train in 1913.
1881Railroad construction from Vancouver to the Rockies reaches Hope and Yale, CPR runs down the west/north side of the Fraser River.
1885Canadian Pacific Railroad is completed with the pounding of the Golden Spike in the Rockies; first train runs from Montreal to Vancouver in 1887.
1886The Canadian Pacific Railway, built in 1886, proved to be beneficial to Fort Hope and mining of gold and silver continued.
1889The beginning of logging and milling in Hope. First sawmill established by John Coe to supply local markets. The townsite of Hope was logged with oxen to supply the mill.
1892Fort Hope and Fort Yale are closed.
1900Hope BC - Looking back in time at Wallace Street in 1900.
Hope BC Wallace Street in 1900
Hope BC, Wallace Street in 1900.
1900Hope BC - Fraser River Bridge in 1900.
Hope BC Fraser River Bridge in 1900
Hope BC, Fraser River Bridge in 1900.
1911Construction of the Kettle Valley Railroad begins from Midway to Hope. The KVR blasts tunnels through the rock of the Coquihalla Canyon and builds a railroad bridge across the Fraser River to join up with the CPR line at Haig Station. The line opens in 1918 and trains run until 1959.
1911-1918Kettle Valley Railway built - construction of Quintette Tunnels through Coquihalla Canyon.
1913-1914Great Northern Railway construction on east side of Fraser Canyon.
1913-1914Fraser River channel at Hell's Gate obstructed by slide and debris from railway construction.
1914Hope BC - Empress Hotel in 1914. Hope BC continues to enjoy a vibrant trade in accomodation, driven by the travel routes that converge into Hope. The Empress Hotel is now the Hope Motor Hotel at Wallace Street and Fraser Street.
Hope BC Empress Hotel in 1914
Hope BC, Empress Hotel in 1914.
1914Construction of the CNR in the Fraser Canyon results in a landslide at Hell's Gate.
1914Kettle Valley Railway Bridge constructed across Fraser River at Hope, carried railway traffic on bottom deck, highway traffic along upper timber deck.
1914-1918World War I
1915The former CNR Railway Station located at the corner of Highway 1 and Old Hope Princeton Highway was built around 1915.
1916Hope Station built by Great Northern Railway.
1919Gorge Dam construction in Skagit Valley.
1920sLogging becomes a primary resource-based industry in the region.
1926Second Alexandra Suspension Bridge built at Spuzzum.
1927Diablo Dam construction in Skagit Valley.
1929Hope incorporated as a village (District) on 6th April 1929. Logging was fast becoming the prime local industry.
1936Ross Dam Phase 1 construction in Skagit Valley.
1939The Royal Train visiting Hope British Columbia on May 31st 1939.
Hope BC Royal Train 1939
Photo of Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on board the Royal Train May 31st, 1939.
(© Copyright: 1939-2011 / All rights reserved)
1939-1945World War II
1940-1986Boston Bar/North Bend Aerial Ferry in operation at Boston Bar/North Bend.
1941The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) built the Kettle Valley Railway over the Fraser River into Hope BC, connecting to the southern part of British Columbia.
1942The internment of Japanese Canadians. The Order in Council PC 1486, passed by the Canadian government on February 23, 1942, authorized the removal of all "persons of Japanese racial origin" and gave the RCMP the power to search without warrant, enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and to confiscate personal property. More than 20,000 Japanese Canadians were affected. One of the internment camps where the Japanese-Canadians were sent was located just east of Hope, where Sunshine Valley is today. That camp was Tashme.
1942Tashme Camp opens as a detention centre for Japanese Canadians evacuated from the Coast on February 23, 1942.
1942Major forest fire Mile 30 - 36 Hope/Princeton Highway.
1942-1945Tashme (Japanese internment camp) in operation in Sunshine Valley.
1944First of the fishways assisting spawning salmon through Hell's Gate Canyon opens.
1944-1946Hell's Gate Fishways built through international efforts of the Pacific Salmon Commission.
1945-1949The Hope-Princeton Highway was constructed between 1945 and 1949 which create great economic growth around Hope.
1945-1952Phases 2 and 3 of Ross Dam construction, massive timber removal from the Skagit Valley.
1948The Fraser River flood.
1948-1949Fraser River Flood. Highway timber deck on top of Kettle Valley Railroad bridge removed and replaced with steel T-sections. Construction of Hope-Princeton Highway.
1949Emil Anderson Construction completes the Hope-Princeton Highway.
1951On October 20 1951, Princess Elizabeth and her husband Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh on their way to Vancouver BC. (See the photo above.)
1953Flooding of the Skagit Valley.
1959Kettle Valley Railway Line closed.
1965Hope became a town on January 1st 1965.
1965The Hope Slide buries Outram Lake, killing four travellers on Highway #3.
1965The Hope Slide, largest earth and rock slide in the history of British Columbia, closes Highway No.#3. Trans Canada Highway #1 completed.
1968CNR Station in Hope BC built in 1915 for the Canadian Northern Railroad. Photo taken in 1968 by Don Horne.
Hope BC CNR Station 1968
Photo created by Don Horne and Copyright issued to Rick Horne.
(© Copyright: 1968-2011 / All rights reserved)
1973Skagit Valley Recreation Area established.
1978Start of Coquihalla Highway construction (Highway #5).
197950th Anniversary of Hope incorporated as a village (District) on 6th April 1929.
1981Filming of "First Blood" - the start of movie industry activity.
1984Alexandra Bridge Class A Provincial Park established in the Fraser Canyon.
1985Start of phase-out Carolin Mine.
1986Coquihalla Highway opens in time for Expo 86.
1986Cog Harrington bridge built across Fraser River, replacing aerial ferry between Boston Bar and North Bend. Expo 86 in Vancouver.
1992Hope was reincorporated as a District Municipality named the District of Hope on December 7th 1992.
1996Upgrading is completed on the Fraser River bridge at Hope.
1997New pool and library recreation complex opens in Hope.