Honouring the legacy of our early settlers in the Robson Valley

Rick Thompson (left) and Roy Howard installing the sign for the Historic McKale House.
Rick Thompson (left) and Roy Howard installing the sign for the Historic McKale House.

 

Like every small town, McBride has its own special and unique history. A history that, unless you speak to the right people, will remain a mystery to you – no matter how long you live here.

At the Valley Museum and Archives, we have long believed that history should be shared and accessible for everyone, not just a select few. To accomplish this, the Valley Museum and Archives sought and received a grant from the B.C./Canada 150: Celebrating BC Communities and their Contributions to Canada grant program to highlight our historical and cultural past.  

We hired the gifted local artist, Dale Stephens, to carve exquisite cedar doors and entrance posts for the museum that reflect the human and animal migration to the valley. His amazing work of art utilized cedar, which has been historically significant to the forests and our logging past that helped to establish this community. 

With this grant, along with a grant from the McBride Community Foundation Endowment Fund, we were also able to develop a historic walking tour to make history come alive for residents and visitors alike by highlighting various historic buildings, organizations and people. With plaques on buildings, fence posts, and light posts, as well as a map to guide them, participants are able to wander around town, exploring all the things that make our little town unique. A QR code was placed on the bottom of each sign that allows visitors to obtain additional information, music, oral histories or pictures relating to the images of the building through the use of their smart phones.

This summer, our intent is to offer free guided walking tours once a day. For those that miss the guided walking tour time or choose to explore on their own, the maps will be invaluable in their trek through town.

It is through these walking tours and signs that we hope to encourage visitors, who may once have only seen McBride as a logical gas stop, to be a place that they can stay and explore a little longer. And maybe, just maybe, they will have gained an appreciation for the history that has made McBride what it is today.