Discovering 150 Mile House, British Columbia: A Historical Overview
150 Mile House, often referred to as "the 50," is an unincorporated community nestled in the Cariboo region of British Columbia. Home to 1,172 residents, this quaint community is situated 15 km southeast of Williams Lake on Highway 97. The community's unique name is derived from its distance from Lillooet, which was Mile 0 of the Old Cariboo Road. 150 Mile House served as a crucial stop on the Cariboo Wagon Road during the Cariboo Gold Rush and is the junction for roads leading to the communities of Likely and Horsefly to the northeast.
The Historical Roots of 150 Mile House, British Columbia
In 1856, Thomas W. Davidson was transporting goods to Fort Alexandria when he stumbled upon vacant farmland near Williams Lake. The local Shuswap Chief, Chief William, granted Davidson permission to establish a farm on the land. Davidson set up a store and stopping house near the Cariboo Wagon Road, and a community began to flourish. This community, which prospered during the Cariboo Gold Rush, became known as 150 Mile House.
In 1913, the 150 Mile Courthouse was constructed beside Highway 97. This historic building has been saved from demolition twice and stands as the only testament to 150 Mile House's governmental involvement during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Despite its rich history, 150 Mile House remains an unincorporated community.
Modern Day 150 Mile House, British Columbia
Today, 150 Mile House is primarily occupied by farmland. One of the main attractions in the community is the "50 centre," a mini mall and gas station. The community is also home to the oldest functional school building in the Cariboo region. The Little Red Schoolhouse, built beside the original Cariboo Wagon Road in 1896, is located next to the 150 Mile House Elementary School.
The Little Red Schoolhouse is the only operating building that was part of the original townsite of 150 Mile House. The stable where students once left their horses still stands in a nearby field, and the doctor's house sits across Highway 97. These historical landmarks offer a glimpse into the rich history and enduring charm of 150 Mile House, British Columbia.