Once upon a time, the city of Yale was the hub of the BC gold rush. A thriving trading post, the city boasted over 30,000 residents. Mostly men trying to strike it rich.
Those days are long gone. Now Yale has less than 200 residents. But the small town still holds many treasures.
The Historic Yale Site allows visitors to step back in time and see how life was like for the first BC settlers. As a parent, I’m always looking for ways to introduce my son to history, so what better way to spend a Saturday with my family and best friend Josh. This visit was the perfect opportunity to show Dylan a bit of British Columbia’s past.
The tent city has several activations that include a saloon, a general store, a jail, and even a bathhouse.
As you can see, it’s fun for all ages.
Aside from the tent city, there’s a museum full of antiques and artifacts from Yale’s former glory. The exhibits include pieces that showcase the many aspects of Yale’s rich history ranging from First Nations, the Gold Rush, Chinese and Pioneer artifacts plus railway exhibits.
A must-see attraction is the St. John the Divine Church. It was built in 1863 in an attempt to “civilize” the miners. Inside, the original altar pieces can still be seen, as well as a collection of antique hand-stitch linens.
Although the church closed for regular services in 1976, weddings and special events are still hosted there.
Across from the church, you can enjoy a light meal at The Ward Tea House. Their menu includes fresh sandwiches, paninis, soups, salads and baked goods. Their homemade lemonade it’s a definite must on a hot summer day.
After your meal, make sure to visit the Ward House. The house was considered very posh back in the day, as very few people could afford to live in this particular style. It’s very interesting.
After the gold rush, a lot of Yale’s inhabitants moved down to Vancouver to create another municipality, one most Vancouverites are familiar with: Yaletown.
If visiting British Columbia, I highly recommend the trip to Yale!