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108 Mile Heritage Site

Highway 97, 108 Mile House, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/10/29

108 Mile Heritage Site Museum ; Shaughn F. Clements
108 Mile House Heritage Site with sign
108 Mile House;
108 Mile House, 1867
108 Mile House Heritage Site; Shaughn F. Clements
side view

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2011/05/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The 108 Mile Heritage Site is a historic site and museum located midway between 100 Mile House and Lac La Hache on Highway 97 in the Cariboo Region of British Columbia. The eight-acre site borders the shore of 108 Mile Lake and is bisected by 108 Mile Lake Creek. It contains a unique collection of 13 buildings dating from the early 1860s to the mid-twentieth century; some are original to the site, while others have been moved to the site from other locations in the region.

Heritage Value

The 108 Mile Heritage Site is significant for its unique collection of historic buildings and associated artifacts that are representative of the development of the Cariboo region since the 1860s.

The primary value of the site lies in the remaining physical evidence that it provides of various phases of post-contact regional development - particularly the gold rush of the 1860s, the construction of the Cariboo Road, the introduction of the telegraph, the servicing of the stage line operated by the British Columbia Express Company (also known as the B.X. Company), large-scale cattle ranching, fur trapping, the introduction of one-room schools to the South Cariboo, and the start of large-scale logging and forestry operations.

The location of the original gold rush period buildings is significant since they were constructed at what was to become the junction of the main Cariboo Wagon Road and the shorter, but less accessible, direct route to the gold rush towns of Likely and Horsefly. The location was also significant because of its close proximity to the creek and the lake that provided the inhabitants and their animals with drinking water.

The 108 Mile Post House, which was originally built in the 1860s and later relocated to this site across what is now Highway 97, has historical value as one of the very few remaining Post houses of the gold rush era.

The 105 Mile McNeil Roadhouse, originally located south of 108 Mile, is valued for its unique construction materials and finishes, and as a museum housing artifacts from the surrounding region.

Several buildings that were constructed during the period when Stephen Tingley was the owner of the B.X. Company stage lines in the late nineteenth century have value as having supported the operation of that company as well as the functioning of the telegraph service operated by Tingley's son, Clarence.

The 160-foot-long log barn, built in 1908 by then-owner Captain Watson to house his collection of more than 100 Clydesdale horses, has value as the largest log structure of its kind left in Canada.

The 1904 altar, lectern, pews and font relocated to the 108 Mile site from a defunct Anglican church in the Nicola Valley have value as being typical of church furnishings of that era in the Cariboo region.

The 1932 one-room schoolhouse that was moved onto the site in recent years has value as one of the very few one-room schoolhouses remaining in the South Cariboo.

The uniquely significant Mack truck and portable sawmill that were driven to 100 Mile House in 1952 have value as marking the genesis of the world-renowned Ainsworth Logging Company.

The 108 Mile Heritage Site has distinct social value as a community landmark, which contributes significantly to the area's sense of identity.

Character-Defining Elements

Key character-defining elements of 108 Mile Heritage Site include:

- the visual impact of the cluster of historic buildings and the unobstructed view of them from Highway 97
- the portion of the original Cariboo Wagon Road that runs alongside the property
- 108 Mile Lake Creek, the small fish-bearing stream that runs through the property
- the cluster of original pre-1892 buildings that comprises one of the two core areas of the site
- the 108 Mile Post House building, including any remaining evidence of its use during the gold rush era
- the 105 Mile McNeil Roadhouse, including such features as the exterior and interior metal sheathing which was designed as protection against fire, and original wallpaper in the upstairs hallway and bedroom closets
- the collection of furnishings and household artifacts relating to the pre-1905 period that are on display in the relocated 105 Mile McNeil Roadhouse
- the 1908 Watson Barn, including characteristics such as its enormous size, its unusually heavy log structure, and its two-story design
- the collection of farming, ranching and transportation artifacts relevant to the site's history
- evidence of various log construction methods utilized in the pre-1892 buildings on the site and in the Watson Barn
- Mack logging truck and portable sawmill



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions
Developing Economies
Extraction and Production
Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type




Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn
Road or Public Way
Food Supply
Barn, Stable or Other Animal Housing
One-Room School

Architect / Designer



Captain Geoffrey Watson

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Cariboo Regional District

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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