100 Mile House

100 Mile House, British Columbia, incorporated as a district municipality in 1991, population 1,980 (2016 census), 1,886 (2011 census). The district of 100 Mile House is located in the South Cariboo region of south-central British Columbia on Highway 97. It is 456 km northeast of Vancouver.



Settlement

The community is located on the traditional territory of the Secwepemc people of the Interior Salish. It began in the early 1860s as a stopping house on the old Cariboo Road during the Cariboo Gold Rush. Its name owes to the fact that it was 100 miles from Mile 0 at Lillooet. Cattle ranching began around the same period. Ranching is still a major industry in the region.

In 1912, the marquess of Exeter in Britain purchased Bridge Creek Ranch, a large property surrounding 100 Mile House. His son, Lord Martin Cecil, took over the ranch in 1930. Two years later, Cecil built 100 Mile Lodge to replace the old stopping house. The lodge accommodated tourists for years.

100 Mile House, 1928

The old stopping house in 100 Mile House. 

Development

In 1949, the Jens brothers, owners of a sawmill, leased land from Bridge Creek Ranch and built houses for sawmill workers. Many others repeated this leasing agreement until the village was incorporated in 1965 and the properties were offered for sale to the tenants. Cecil helped to plan the community and donated land for a park (now named Centennial Park) and a bird sanctuary at 100 Mile Marsh. He also donated land for most of the other publicly owned buildings the population enjoys today.

Sometime after Cecil became leader of the Emissaries of Divine Light in 1954, his lodge became a private dwelling for this spiritual community. It is now an event venue owned by the municipality.

The District Municipality of 100 Mile House was incorporated in 1991. Today, the municipality serves a wide region where ranching, lumber, mining and tourism supply the economic base.