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108 Mile House Heritage Site - 108 Mile House, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 51° 45.038 W 121° 20.863
10U E 614056 N 5734595
Quick Description: Originally a roadhouse serving prospectors and settlers of the Cariboo, the first building on the 108 Mile Heritage Site was constructed in 1967.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 7/17/2019 4:39:46 PM
Waymark Code: WM10ZJQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member MikeGolfJ3
Views: 0

Long Description:
Here's how the 108 Mile House Heritage Site came to be.
The beginning was 1969 and we were called the 108 Mile ‘Recreational’ Ranch. The developer, Block Brothers Realty, had a vision to create an ‘outdoor playground’, a five stage 26,800 acre seasonal recreational resort. The Agricultural Land Reserve prevented the last four stages from proceeding, but luckily much of the recreational infrastructure had been put in place first. We are now 1,140 permanent homes at the 108, with a population of approx 2,900. The treasure of it is that we have recreational facilities for a development of about 7,000 homes. The developers are gone and we now control our own destiny through our 108 Mile Ranch Community Association.

[In 1979 the Block Brothers sold the seven acre site to the 100 Mile & District Historical Society for $1, it took over the 108 Mile House Heritage Site and continues to operate it today.]
From 108 Ranch

The oldest buildings on the site are the 1867 Post House and the 1867 log shed, both built on the north side of the highway in 1867 and moved to their present sites in 1892 and 1880, respectively, the log shed becoming the Store & Telegraph office. From 1875 until June of 1885 the Post House was operated as the "108 Hotel" by Agnus MacVee, Jim MacVee, and her brother-in-law Al Riley. Further additions in 1880 were the Ice House and a Blacksmith Shop. The Small Log Barn was added in 1892, as was the wood framed Blacksmith Shop and the Bunkhouse. In 1903 the site was bought by Captain Geoffrey Lancelot Watson and in 1904 this ceased to be a Roadhouse and stopping place when Captain Watson turned it into a ranch, raising purebred Clydesdale horses and Highland Cattle. In 1908 the large Clydesdale Barn was erected. This log barn is valued as the largest log barn left in Canada.

Since becoming a Heritage Site in 1979 more heritage buildings have been added to the site including:
The 105 Mile McNeil Roadhouse, built in 1905, moved to the site in 1979, once another roadhouse, now the 105 Mile Ranch Museum, filled with artefacts, photos and documents from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s
The 133 Mile Schoolhouse, built in 1938 and donated to the site about 2003
The Game Warden's Cabin, built Sept. 25, 1941, officially opened on site August 1, 1916
The Trapper's Cabin, built in the 1930s and moved onto the heritage site.

In 2012 the 100 Mile and District Historical Society began construction of the Historical Society Heritage Church, a log-home style chapel built to complement the existing heritage buildings and now used primarily as a wedding venue. Inside are the 1904 altar, lectern, pews and font relocated to the 108 Mile site from a defunct Anglican church in the Nicola Valley. Another recent addition is a wire fence enclosed pavilion housing a portable sawmill, a B-61 Mack Truck and a McCormick Deering WD 9 tractor. As well, the museum has a good sized collection of old farm equipment donated from various farms and ranches of the area.

Spread over an area of 8 acres or so, the 108 Mile House Heritage Site and Museum has probably the largest collection of pre 20th century buildings in the Cariboo outside of Barkerville.

And now for the hidden story of 108 Hotel, the building known today as the Post House. In 1875 it was taken over by Agnus MacVee, Jim MacVee, and her brother-in-law (or son-in-law, depending on who is telling the story) Al Riley. It seems that all three were unscrupulous beyond comparison. The roadhouse they were operating was the perfect place in which to rob and kill unsuspecting miners returning from the rich diggings around Barkerville and Horsefly, their pokes loaded with gold. Another lucrative scheme of Agnus' was to kidnap young women passing through looking for a rich miner to marry, then sell them to the miners, either for overnight companionship or longer term as "wives" and camp cooks.

It is said that the MacVees killed more than 50 miners while relieving them of their gold and even killed some of the less cooperative young women. I won't go into further detail here but will instead refer you to 108 Mile House or the Williams Lake Tribune for the grisly details.

108 Mile Heritage Site
The 108 Mile Heritage Site is significant for its unique collection of historic buildings and associated artifacts that are representative of the development of the Cariboo region since the 1860s.

The primary value of the site lies in the remaining physical evidence that it provides of various phases of post-contact regional development - particularly the gold rush of the 1860s, the construction of the Cariboo Road, the introduction of the telegraph, the servicing of the stage line operated by the British Columbia Express Company (also known as the B.X. Company), large-scale cattle ranching, fur trapping, the introduction of one-room schools to the South Cariboo, and the start of large-scale logging and forestry operations.

The location of the original gold rush period buildings is significant since they were constructed at what was to become the junction of the main Cariboo Wagon Road and the shorter, but less accessible, direct route to the gold rush towns of Likely and Horsefly. The location was also significant because of its close proximity to the creek and the lake that provided the inhabitants and their animals with drinking water.

• The 108 Mile Post House, which was originally built in the 1860s and later relocated to this site across what is now Highway 97, has historical value as one of the very few remaining Post houses of the gold rush era.
• The 105 Mile McNeil Roadhouse, originally located south of 108 Mile, is valued for its unique construction materials and finishes, and as a museum housing artifacts from the surrounding region.
• Several buildings that were constructed during the period when Stephen Tingley was the owner of the B.X. Company stage lines in the late nineteenth century have value as having supported the operation of that company as well as the functioning of the telegraph service operated by Tingley's son, Clarence.
• The 160-foot-long log barn, built in 1908 by then-owner Captain Watson to house his collection of more than 100 Clydesdale horses, has value as the largest log structure of its kind left in Canada.
• The 1904 altar, lectern, pews and font relocated to the 108 Mile site from a defunct Anglican church in the Nicola Valley have value as being typical of church furnishings of that era in the Cariboo region.
• The 1932 one-room schoolhouse that was moved onto the site in recent years has value as one of the very few one-room schoolhouses remaining in the South Cariboo.
• The uniquely significant Mack truck and portable sawmill that were driven to 100 Mile House in 1952 have value as marking the genesis of the world-renowned Ainsworth Logging Company.
From Historic Places Canada

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The history of the Cariboo Highway roadhouses and the Cariboo Gold Rush.

Street Address:
Cariboo Drive
108 Mile House, BC
V0K 2Z0

Food Court: no

Gift Shop: yes

Hours of Operation:
Victoria Day weekend till September 30th
Open 10:00am - 5:00pm, 7 days a week

Cost: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Museum Size: Medium

Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
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