|As you approach the town, it's hard to miss the entry sign|
|Lillooet's history is very much tied to minerals, as becomes evident when touring Main Street|
Lillooet is located 130 km from Whistler, 170 km from Kamloops and 250 km north-east of Vancouver. It had its start as one of the main centres of the 1858–59 Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, during which time it was said to be the largest town west of Chicago and north of San Francisco. The District of Lillooet was founded in 1946, so next year is its 75th Anniversary.
|Main Street offers room for improvement and Mayor Busse and his senior staff are well aware of this.|
In some respects, little had changed since I was last there. The main street lives up to the community’s branding tagline “Guaranteed Rugged”, which is prominently displayed on the entry signage, marketing materials, and even the mayor’s business card with its missing corner, as if eaten by a bear.
Jeremy and Kevin are not the only ones buying property in Lillooet. During my visit I learned that offshore investors have also been purchasing land in anticipation of future growth.
With the new population comes a Farmers' Market!
While Lillooet desperately needs a decent hotel or inn, it does have a very good winery. https://www.fortberens.ca/ Fort Berens Winery was started by a Dutch couple and it is not only a good tasting experience, there's a good restaurant too. Lillooet now has a second winery called the Cliff and Gorge, just outside the town . In addition, the community has managed to attract a craft brewery which is presently under construction and they are hopeful to be able to attract another business, possibly a distillery.
As you will read in my Vancouver Sun column, there was a time when kids left their small towns to move to the big city. Now it's happening in reverse. And for good reason!
|Sally reads up on the town's history and connections to First Nations and the Chinese and Japanese communities.|