Fraser Canyon: From Cariboo Road to Super Highway
Matt Hartman is a freelance editor and cataloguer, running Hartman Cataloguing, Editing and Indexing Services.
The Fraser Highway traverses some of the most rugged terrain in British Columbia. The river after which it is named was the scene of several massive gold rushes, the first in 1858, necessitating a passage up from the town of Hope, through Yale, Boston Bar, to the gold fields above Lytton. Harris’s little book traces the growth of that road, from the first widened Indian trails, coming south from Camchin, through the building of the Cariboo Trail ordered by B.C’s first governor, James Douglas, in 1868, and finally to the highway’s addition to the Trans-Canada Highway in 1950. Anyone who has travelled from Hope to Kamloops in the interior of the province must be amazed at the grandeur of the canyon the river has carved out. It must have seemed impossible to the first settlers that a road could ever be built along the massive precipices above the teeming currents. Harris’s concise history (just 23 pages of text) is enriched by photographs from the B.C. Provincial Archives and the B.C. government photographic file. It is these photographs that make the book a worthwhile purchase for the school and public library. Rarely will so many be found arranged in such an informative way.