Discovering Pritchard, British Columbia: A Historical and Touristic Overview
Pritchard, an unincorporated community in the Thompson region of south-central British Columbia, is nestled on the South Thompson River. Located northeast of the BC Highway 97 intersection on BC Highway 1, Pritchard is approximately 19 kilometres west of Chase and 39 kilometres east of Kamloops.
Pritchard, British Columbia: The Pioneer Settlers
The early settlers of Pritchard were James Todd and George Bohun Martin, employees of the Hudson's Bay Company. Todd initially claimed about 3 kilometres on the south side shore eastward from the present bridge. In 1866, Martin took over Todd's land. Other settlers included Jean Laveau and Edward de Champs, who settled to the east and west of Martin's land, respectively. Arthur Gore Pemberton settled on the north shore, opposite Martin's holding. The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885 brought a flood of new settlers to the area.
The Evolution of Martin Prairie in Pritchard, British Columbia
George Martin's children, Frank, George, and Henry, established farms in the hills south of his farm, an area initially called Martin's Prairie. The first homestead was established in 1892 by Amos and Alfred Herbert. The area saw significant development over the years, including the opening of the first school in 1908 and the formation of the Farmers' Institute in 1911.
The Origin of the Name 'Pritchard' in British Columbia
The name 'Pritchard' originated from a property transaction in 1907 when John G. Fawcett sold a property on the south shore to Walter P. Pritchard. The name was unanimously chosen by the Martin Prairie Farmers' Institute in their 1911 post office application.
Pritchard, British Columbia: The Early Community
The early community of Pritchard saw various developments, including the establishment of a post office in 1911, the construction of a two-storey house and store in 1912, and the building of a three-storey hotel/boarding house in 1912. The community also hosted annual fall fairs from 1913 to the early 1920s.
Pemberton Range in Pritchard, British Columbia
Arthur Pemberton established a 1,200-hectare property north of his farm, which soon changed its name from Hog Range to Pemberton Range. The area saw various developments, including the establishment of a school in 1913 and the extension of electricity transmission into the area in 1966.
The Railway in Pritchard, British Columbia
The eastward advance of the CP rail head passed through Pritchard in August 1885. The community saw various developments related to the railway, including the erection of a train station building in 1911 and the extension of double-tracking to Pritchard in 1913.
Ferry, Bridge, and Roads in Pritchard, British Columbia
Pritchard's transportation infrastructure has evolved over the years, from a cross-river scow ferry in the early years to a 40-metre timber swing span in 1920. The present one-lane arched trestle bridge was built in 1985.
Pritchard, British Columbia: The Later Community
The later community of Pritchard saw various developments, including the ratification of the first phase of the subdivision in 1972, the establishment of a voluntary fire department in 1993, and the commencement of the annual Pritchard Rodeo in 1994. The local economy primarily comprises agriculture and horse stables.
Pritchard, British Columbia, with its rich history and vibrant community, offers a unique blend of historical charm and modern amenities. With an estimated population of about 1,000 in 2021, Pritchard continues to grow and thrive.