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History of the Trail

History of the Trail

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Biography of Edgar Dewdney

Biography of Edgar Dewdney

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Interactive Map

Interactive Map

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Introduction

Southeastern British Columbia has long been a fortress of unrivaled beauty and challenging terrain. Gold discovered at the mouth of the Pend d'Oreille River in 1854 and the resulting influx of American prospectors underscored the need for a Coast to Kootenay route entirely within British jurisdiction. The government's goal was to maintain British sovereignty over the land and the riches that the North/South mountain ranges had managed to keep hidden for so long.

In 1865, Governor Seymour commissioned Edgar Dewdney, an ambitious and trained civil engineer, to build a pack trail to Wild Horse Creek from Rock Creek. The pack trail was to enable prospectors and government officials to explore and transport valuable resources entirely within British territory, without the hassles and expense of crossing the border.

The Dewdney Trail gave rise to many settlements, towns, discoveries and infrastructure that survive today. Explore the footprint of yesterday today.