Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The property known historically as Nam Sing Ranch is located approximately 6 km north of Quesnel, British Columbia. Part of the former ranch is now hay fields on land owned by the City of Quesnel as part of the Quesnel Airport, and part is now the Mufford Valley Ranch. The original Ranch property consisted of Cariboo District Lots 85 and 502.
The Nam Sing Ranch has historical, aesthetic, scientific, cultural and social value through its association with the important story of the miner, pioneer settler, farmer, rancher, entrepreneur and family patriarch Chew Nam Sing.
The Nam Sing Ranch is valued for its association with the very early settlement in the Cariboo region during the 1860s Cariboo Gold Rush, and with Chew Nam Sing, who was among the very first and most successful Chinese gold miners in the Cariboo.
The Ranch also represents an early and successful agricultural enterprise, developed by one of the province's first Chinese Canadian families. Supplying produce for the booming populations of Quesnel and Barkerville, the historic Ranch is valued as one of the earliest examples of commercial market gardening in the province, an agricultural industry developed throughout the province with particular skill and entrepreneurial astuteness by Chinese immigrants.
Evidence of Chew Nam Sing's industry and success is seen in his mining, ranching and market gardening enterprises, but also in his freight business, which hauled produce to booming Quesnel and to the family's store in Barkerville during the Gold Rush and later. This enterprise constituted a significant contribution to the development of B.C., making the Nam Sing Ranch significant to the Chinese Canadian community across the province.
The spatial relationship between the Ranch lands and Barlow Creek, which flows out of 10-Mile Lake, provides a larger geographical context for the Ranch. The presence of the creek also made possible the creation of significant stretches of hand-dug irrigation ditches, seen today in remnants of the irrigation system devised by Chew Nam Sing through the diversion of Barlow Creek.
The remaining built and landscape features, including a residence, other buildings and structures related to the Nam Sing family, agricultural fields and remnants of the irrigation system are physical reminders of the Nam Sing Ranch and the people who lived and worked there. Also important is the continued use of the land for haymaking, which maintains the visual aesthetics of a working agricultural landscape.
The Ranch is culturally and socially significant for being in continuous use as a family-run ranch since Chew Nam Sing cleared the property for agricultural use. It continued to be run by Chew Nam Sing's family after his death in 1911 until it was sold in 1948.
Source: Province of British Columbia, Heritage Branch
Province of British Columbia
Heritage Conservation Act, s.18
Provincially Recognized Heritage Site (Recognized)
1911/01/01 to 1911/01/01
1948/01/01 to 1948/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
- Peopling the Land
- Migration and Immigration
Function - Category and Type
- Food Supply
- Farm or Ranch
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Province of British Columbia, Heritage Branch
Cross-Reference to Collection