Monday, November 02, 2015

Q is for Quesnel

ABC Wednesday
November 4th, 2015

The letter is Q for Quesnel

A picturesque town in the North Cariboo area of British Columbia, with a fascinating history.

Although today it is a beautiful playground  with a perfect
combination of rural charm and quiet city sophistication, Quesnel is rich
in history.

The First Nations people who inhabited this area called themselves 'Uda uketh',
which means 'People who travel by boat on water early in the morning'
but their neighbours, the Sekant people, called them the Carrier, and
this is the name by which they are commonly known.

They made Quesnel their summer fishing camp and eventually developed a trading culture with the Nuxalk people who provided nutrient rich Salmon and Ooligan Grease (a healing 
remedy made from fish oil).
 Eventually a trade route crisscrossed the plateau both west and south
of Quesnel.

While Alexander Mackenzie was traversing the territory in 1793
en route to the Pacific he encountered the Carrier First Nation camp and 
they convinced him to abandon the dangerous Fraser route and travel the
Nuxalk-Carrier Grease Trail along the Blackwater River .

In 1808 Simon Fraser (another explorer all Canadian children
learn about in school) camped at the junction of two rivers,
the Fraser and the Quesnel.  The Fraser River he named after himself, but
the Quesnel river he named after his lieutenant, Jules Maurice Quesnel.

In 1857 gold was discovered on the Fraser River and by 1859 the great rush
of miners had reached the Quesnel River, and due to its location Quesnel became
a major stopover and supply centre for the gold fields.

From its beginning Quesnel was a multicltural community.
 As early as 1860 Chinese miners were working the bars of the Quesnel River
and many soon turned to business.
The gold rush  attracted people from Eastern Canada,
 the US and many European countries.

And now, like many British Columbia towns, it takes advantage
of the abundant recreational opportunities the countryside offers.

Excellent fishing, reminiscent of the early summer fishing camps of the First Nations.

both rainbow and bull trout

Mountain cycling and river rafting

The countryside is beautiful and varied

Quesnel Lake

and nearby Dragon lake in the spring of the year

 Agricultural land

and hoodoos

The population celebrating Billy Barker days

and one of the main industries, besides tourism...

the West Pine Mill

how to get there.........

if you don't want to follow the gold trail, paddling up the Fraser River,
go by highway...  up past Williams Lake
and before you get to Prince George
If I remember correctly you have to take a right turn into town.

more excellent Qs here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Roger and Denise and any quirky helpers.


carol l mckenna said...

Intriguing post and gorgeous photography! ~

Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

Melody Steenkamp said...

How wonderful.... thank you for taking me on a trip to somewhere i did not know of ;-)

Have a nice abc-day/-week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

The Weaver of Grass said...

I have been to Kamloops and Kelowna Hildred so must have come fairly near to this lovely place. But the yours is such a beautiful country that everywhere is lovely.

Mary Kiss said...

Wow I have to check on this one looks really beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Mary, MI

Carin Diaz said...

I'm in Colorado and have never been in this area. Beautiful.

Roger Owen Green said...

especially love the train, though I'm a sucker for maps


Photo Cache said...

Another little town to visit.


Morning's Minion said...

In addition to the area history I am intrigued to see the surname, Quesnel.
I grew up and lived for much of my life in Addison County, Vermont. Starting around the late 1860's many French Canadians relocated there, among them my father's grandparents and great-grandparents.
There were many families named Quesnel in nearby small towns and farming communities.

Hildred said...

I ran across quite a bit of information about the Quesnel family when I was researching. I believe Jules wife was named Isabella. I will go back and check, but I am quite sure the family is of French origin from Eastern Canada, so probably Vermont as well.

Christopher Kerry Scott Sophie Johnson said...

neat name from the spot.
lovely landscape

Mascha said...

Interesting post - never heard about Quesnel before...
Such pretty lakes around!
Greetings from germany

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

Quesnel Lake looks beautiful.

By the way, do you know of Sarawak in Ontario? Sarawak is in Borneo, and somehow, someone named the Canadian Sarawak Sarawak.

Reader Wil said...

Our planet is full of beautiful countries, mountains, lakes and hadden treasures like the ones you show us. I wish I could see more.
Thanks for your visit and comment. Yes you are right:it was Frodo who sang the song.
I wish you a happy week.
Wil, ABCW. Team

Gattina said...

Interesting story about this city !

ABC Team

Rajesh said...

Very beautiful and scenic place.

uberrhund said...

Wonderful post full of history, travel and beauty. I love learning about a place completely new to me, thanks Hildred!

Ann said...

I'm loving the city sign, very cool shots.

Joy said...

An inventive city sign AND a train, you can't get better than that. Looks a lovely area full of history.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I would love to travel the trail by canoe, sigh, if only I were four or five decades younger. The road or the train for me (and I'd be happy if only I could do that.) As everywhere in BC (or so it seems) an area full of history and natural beauty. (And fortuitously named starting with a "Q" which must be rather difficult for the alphabet meme.!)