Kent, BC, incorporated as a district municipality in 1895, population 5664 (2011c), 4738 (2006c). The District of Kent was named after the county of Kent in England. It is located in the upper portion of the FRASER RIVER LOWLAND of southwestern British Columbia about 117 km east of VANCOUVER. Kent is bound by the FRASER RIVER on the south and the HARRISON RIVER on the west. Farming began in the fertile lowlands of the district in the early 1800s and Harrison river and lake were important during the FRASER RIVER GOLD RUSH (1858) as a route to the interior of British Columbia.
Major settlement did not begin until construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s and development was encouraged by highway construction in the 1930s, 1950s and 1960s. The municipality contains the settled areas of Harrison Mills and Agassiz, which is the main population and commercial centre. To the north of Kent and on the southeast shore of Harrison Lake is the famous resort and convention centre, the village of Harrison Hot Springs. The federal government's AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH STATION at Agassiz was established in 1889. Hop and later corn were important crops. Today Kent remains largely agricultural, devoted to dairy and mixed farming. There are also 2 federal prisons in the municipality.