Now, if anywhere has seen better days, it is Boston Bar in the Fraser Canyon. At one time a popular gold rush stop, the town now looks all but abandoned, though it houses between 500 and 850 people (depending on which source you credit).
A population counted at 500 even seems exaggerated – we didn’t see a soul on the road or sidewalk. No one accessing services, shopping the streets. No one outside doing anything.
Boston Bar shows up on Wikipedias list of BC Ghost Towns – though local residents may disagree. Surely the town made it onto the list because (as Wikipedia’s opening disclaimer states), they have also included ‘derelict’ towns on the list, and certainly Boston Bar is that.
The bar (sand/gravel bar) at Boston was full of gold – for a minute. And many people stopped here to take advantage of that fact, on their way up north.
Back in the gold rush era, Boston Bar was packed with Americans – referred to as ‘Bostons’ at the time – presumably because at least one of the settlers hailed from there. Hence the town name.
Quayome was one of the original (English spelling) names given to the region by the natives. But it isn’t the only name the area has gone by – Koiaum, North Bend (now neighbouring), and even Vancouver Bar (briefly, in 2011), are a few of the monikers once given to the town.
Boston Bar is the half way point between Vancouver and Kamloops.
The community took a major hit when the lumber mill closed and logging activities in the area slowed. The train station was abandoned, as were many homes and businesses.
Apparently westbound trains (only) still stop here three times a week – if a request is made at least 48 hours in advance.
Research shows CPR to be one of the only employers in the town – and with trains only stopping 3x a week by request – I am certain there aren’t many jobs available.
I would have liked to visited before the economical losses, surely the town would have been a different place – or maybe not.
The poisonous timber rattler snake also calls Boston Bar home.
As you drive out of town and back onto the highway heading north, you pass an (awesome!) old rickety cemetery, with many wooden headstones, much like the ones in the historic Yale cemetery.
An internet search says very little, though it is recorded that an old ‘Indian’ (First Nations) cemetery is located at Boston Bar (North Bend) – could this be it?
- $1 Historic Homes For Sale Boston Bar (global news.ca)
- Boston Bar (britishcolumbia.com)
- Boston Bar (bostonbarbc.net)
- Boston Bar (wikipedia)