Discover Hazelton, British Columbia: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty
Hazelton, a quaint village nestled at the junction of the Bulkley and Skeena Rivers in northern British Columbia, Canada, is a place where history and nature intertwine. Founded in 1866, Hazelton is one of the oldest settlements in northern British Columbia. As of 2011, it had a population of 305, and it serves as the northernmost point of the Yellowhead Highway, a major interprovincial highway that stretches from Prince Rupert, British Columbia, to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
The Rich First Nations History of Hazelton, British Columbia
The Hazelton area is home to the Gitxsan and Wet'suwet'en First Nations. It comprises two municipalities (the Village of Hazelton and District of New Hazelton), three unincorporated settlements (South Hazelton, Two Mile, and the Kispiox Valley), and four First Nations’ villages: Gitanmaax, Sik-e-Dakhl, Anspayaxw, and Hagwilget, all of which belong to the Gitxsan people.
Exploring Old Hazelton and Two Mile in British Columbia
Old Hazelton, the original gateway and staging area for the Omineca Gold Rush of 1869-73, was the only place with a proper hospital for hundreds of miles in any direction. The community of Two Mile, located just two miles out of Hazelton, was a bustling hub during the gold rush and rail construction. Today, it houses 85% of the town's population.
New Hazelton and South Hazelton: The Expansion of Hazelton, British Columbia
The announcement in 1903 that the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway would pass through Hazelton sparked a flurry of excitement and a surge of settlers. Two rival townsites, New Hazelton and South Hazelton, emerged in 1911, leading to the original Hazelton being referred to as "Old Hazelton". Together, they became known as the "Three Hazeltons".
The Arrival of the First Car in Hazelton, British Columbia in 1911
The first car, a Flanders 20, arrived in Hazelton on October 4, 1911, from Seattle. This event sparked curiosity and disbelief among the locals, as the railway from Prince Rupert wouldn't be completed until 1912. The car is now on display at the Kittitas County Historical Museum in Ellensburg, Washington.
The Climate of Hazelton, British Columbia
Hazelton experiences a humid continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. The average annual snowfall is 185 cm (72.8 in), and the average annual precipitation is 614 mm (24 in).
Demographics of Hazelton, British Columbia
According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Hazelton had a population of 257 living in 113 of its 125 total private dwellings.
Attractions in Hazelton, British Columbia
Hazelton is home to the world-famous 'Ksan Historical Village, a native heritage site located at the confluence of the Bulkley and Skeena rivers. Other attractions include the Hagwilget Canyon Bridge, one of North America's highest suspension bridges, and the nearby Kispiox River, a popular spot for steelhead fishing.
Special Events in Hazelton, British Columbia
Hazelton hosts several special events throughout the year, including the Kispiox Valley Rodeo in June, the Kispiox Valley Music Festival in July, Pioneer Day in August, and Gitxsan Cultural Days also in August.
Hazelton, British Columbia in Books and Music
Hazelton has been referenced in several books and music. Notable mentions include "Hazelton" on Hazeltons by Justin Vernon and various books such as The Far Land by Eva MacLean and The Skeena River of Destiny by Dr. RG Large.