Vanderhoof, BC Historical Maps and Views

Vanderhoof, BC Historical Maps and Views

4. Nechako Valley, Vanderhoof BC settlement

Once the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway came to the area the Province of British Columbia began offering pre-emption lots in the Nechako Valley.  Pre-emption was the method of claiming BC Crown land, by individuals and companies, for settlement and cultivation.  The pre-emption process began in British Columbia in 1859 and ended in 1970.

While early settlers came to the area to build homes and farm, the location of the townsite was a matter of dispute for several years.   A group of realtor’s wanted the townsite at Milne’s Landing, a few miles to the east of Vanderhoof’s current location.  The town was to be named Nechako City.

Herbert Vanderhoof, of Chicago and Mr. N.T. MacMillan of Winnipeg, affiliated with the Grand Trunk Pacific Development Company, wanted to locate the townsite on property Mr. Vanderhoof owned – and did, naming the town after himself.

The first building constructed was the MacMillan Building, at the corner of Third Street and Fraser Avenue.

Nechako Valley Settlement, Vanderhoof BC circa 1915 – 1925. Source: Bill McLeod, Vanderhoof the Town That Woudn’t Wait – used with permission