“The Nicola River, originally Fr. Rivire de Nicholas or Rivire de Nicolas’, adapted to Nicolas River”, Nicola’s River in English, is one of the major tributaries of the Thompson River in the Canadian province of British Columbia, entering the latter at the town of Spences Bridge. It is named for Nicola (“Histesmexteqen”) the most famous chief of the joint community of Nlaka’pamux and Okanagan bands, founded by his father and today known as the Nicolas, (originally Nicola’s people), as well is its basin, which is known as the Nicola Country.
It drains most of the northern Thompson Plateau, beginning near the very eastern edge of the plateau only 30 kilometers northwest of Kelowna, and flows from there more or less westward to feed Douglas and Nicola Lakes, with about 15 kilometers of the river’s length between tose two lakes. Nicola Lake at 20 kilometers in length is the largest in the basin; the Nicola River enters at 3/4 way of its length up from its outlet, 10 kilometers downstream from which is Nicola Valley centre and Coquihalla Highway town of Merritt. From there the river flows 60 kilometers northwest to the Thompson, and is followed on that route by British Columbia Highway 8 and a spur line of the Canadian Pacific […]
Spences Bridge, B.C – Steeped in history and heritage this small community has more to offer than bigger centers could only dream of; the weather, the wildlife, the adventure, the scenery, and the characters. When the California Gold Rush died the Caribou Gold Rush was born. Fortune seekers from all over converged to “Gold Country”. Spences Bridge was originally known as Little Forks; after the ferry was built it was known as Cooks Ferry, named after Mortimer Cook, the founder of the Ferry and one of the area hotel owners. In 1863 the government commissioned Thomas Spence to build a bridge across the Thompson River Canyon. Spence and his crew finished the bridge in the spring of 1984 and barely had time to step back and admire their work when unusually high waters washed the bridge away, Spence was immediately commissioned again to build another bridge and this was finished the following year. Thus Spences Bridge was born.