Princeton (British Columbia)

Princeton is a small town at the confluence of the Similkameen River and Tulameen River in south-central British Columbia, Canada.


Princeton is located at kilometer 134 of the Crowsnest Highway (BC Highway 3 ) at 650 meters. in the valley of the Similkameen River at the mouth of the Tulameen River. The city is the center of the eastern part of the Okanagan Similkameen region, several roads open up from here the southern Thompson Plateau; the south of the Similkameen River located Cascade Range is developed much worse.


Long before the arrival of the first white settlers lived in the valley of the upper Similkameen River Indians from the mining of ocher and silica, which served at the mouth of the Tulameen River located Yak- Tulamn it as a trading center. Archaeological finds that in exchange goods from a distribution area between the coasts of Oregon and the prairies east of the Rocky Mountains were exchanged.

Excavations occupy a settlement history of at least 7,500 years, many of those used settlements and the roads between them are still used today. The people of the Similkameen succeeded, despite the decimation by entrained by settlers diseases, such as smallpox and influenza, relatively quickly adapt to the new circumstances; Today Princeton is a cultural center of this people.

The first white men who came to the area of Princeton, were hunters and traders of the Hudson 's Bay Company and other fur trading companies which were on the way from Kamloops to Fort Okanagan. The first of these adventurers that followed proved the valley of the Similkameen River, was in December 1812 Alexander Ross. But only the Oregon Compromise of 1846 and the associated boundaries along the 49th parallel forced the exploration of the region to explore suitable routes from the Lower Mainland inland. Various routes have been explored, which overcame north of the present Crowsnest Highway through the mountains of the Cascade Range:

  • Brigade Trail (1849 by Alexander Caulfield Anderson through the valleys of the Coquihalla River and Tulameen River)
  • Whatcom Trail / Skagit Trail (1858 through the valley of the Skagit River and the Snass Creek to the Tulameen River)
  • Dewdney Trail (1860 by Edgar Dewdney and Walter Moberly through the valley of Snass Creek and the Whipsaw Creek )

First, these poorly developed paths should serve the exchange of furs and food to the isolated bases in the valleys of the Similkameen River, the Okanagan Valley and the valley of the Kettle River, but finds of precious metals and the construction of the much more usable Dewdney Trail ensured accelerated settlement.

The first settlers in what was then Vermillion Forks, now Princeton - John Allison case - settled down in 1858 at the confluence of two rivers and put claims for gold, copper and coal from, beside he ran a cattle farm. Its indigenous woman - Nora Yakumtikum - with whom he had four children, was charged by the Hudson's Bay Company transports with pack horses. Since Allison also with his second wife begot a multitude of descendants, consider even today many Similkameen Allison as one of their ancestors.

The future King Edward VII - - Already in 1860 the name of the city during the visit eastern Canada by the Prince of Wales has been changed, the same year found surveying work on establishing the appearance of the city in what is now the eastern part on an area of ​​about 700 acres (approx. 283 acres ) instead.

By 1895, the town lived largely on agriculture, transit trade and gold panning in Tulameen River and Similkameen River, the discovery of gold mines in the Granite Creek near the present day ghost town of Granite City who quickly swung into British Columbia 's third-largest municipality, was the importance Princeton grow. As part of the discovery of gold in the side valleys of the Tulameen River, there was the establishment of a camp of Chinese immigrants, which explains the still high Asian population Princeton.

In addition to the gold mining - the Mines of Granite City was in 1910 given up - turned out to other occurrences than productive, particularly the mining of coal in up to 15 pits from which about 1.6 million tonnes of coal were partially existed until 1945 and promoted were economically significant deposits of copper and platinum to mention. Copper mining in an industrial style was discontinued at the end of the 20th century.

As might be expected, the wood processing industry played a significant role in Princeton, companies such as the Kettle Valley Lumber Company, Taylor Lumber Company, Huff Brothers Sawmill and WT Squelch & Son operated sawmills in the region.


The census in 2011 showed a population of 2,724 inhabitants for the community. The population has thereby decreased compared to the census of 2006 by 2.0 %, while the population in British Columbia grew by 7.0 % at the same time.


After the mining was stopped by copper, the wood processing industry is in Princeton, the industry with the greatest importance, is the largest employer Weyerhaeuser Canada. In addition, agriculture plays - especially the breeding of horses and cattle - a major role. The cultivation of fruit and wine growing in importance.

Princeton has a well- developed tourist infrastructure and offers an ideal base for discovering the surrounding nature reserves, such as the EC Manning Provincial Park or the Cascade Provincial Recreation Area, at. It is popular as a destination for weekenders from Greater Vancouver, these and other traveling are 10 motels and several restaurants.

In addition, Princeton has been the setting of several movies, such as Malone (1987 ) with Burt Reynolds and The Pledge ( The Pledge - 2001) with Jack Nicholson.


The Dewdney Trail represented for years the main link to the outside world in 1909 reached a line of Victoria, Vancouver and Eastern Railway - a branch line of the American Great Northern Railway - Princeton. 1915 reached the Canadian Pacific Railway Princeton and made ​​the connection between the Lower Mainland and the Kootenay Region ago, sank the importance of Victoria, Vancouver and Eastern Railway. Rail traffic was stopped in 1974 after the dismantling of the track of the former railway embankment serves as a hiking or mountain trail.

The road connection to Hope or Osoyoos was opened only in 1949, later became the Southern Thompson Plateau be tapped, according to Merritt and Kamloops leading Highway 5A as a by- path of the Yellowhead Highway 5 ( Coquihalla Highway in this section also called ) was built. Some secondary roads open up the Greater Princeton:

  • Tullameen - Coalmont - Road ( fixed ) leads to Tulameen and Coamont that opens up from her outgoing Granite Creek Road Ghost Towns Granite Creek and Blake Burn and the territory of the former gold mines
  • Princeton - Summerland Road ( attached to Jellicoe ) via Jura, Jellicoe, Bankeir, Osprey Lake and Faulder through southern Thompson Plateau by Summerland on the western shore of Okanagan Lake
  • Whipsaw Creek Road ( unpaved forest road ) to the eastern edge of the Cascade Provincial Recreation Area

More dirt roads are primarily for forestry development of the region, they can be used, but should apply the utmost caution.