Historic Emory City – The route between Hope and Yale holds a hidden secret – a lost city that faded into the woods with the coming of the CPR. Just five kilometres south of Yale, visitors travelling through the Fraser Canyon will come across Emory Creek where once stood a bustling frontier town.
In 1858 over 25,000 men had traveled up the Fraser River staking claims and working the sand bars in an attempt to strike it rich, and 500 men are recorded to have spent the winter of 1858-1859 camped at Emory’s Bar in tent and shingle dwellings. Although considerable gold was found at Emory’s Bar, the mother-lode was never found. Emory again came into prominence in the fall of 1879 when it became the Canadian Pacific Railway’s western terminus. Emory City soon consisted of 13 streets, 32 blocks, and 400 lots of “goodly” dimensions. The Inland Sentinel Newspaper, the first on the mainland, erected a two story building on Front Street and the Emory City Sawmill was producing 21,000 feet of lumber in a 24 hour shift. Two hotels, nine saloons, a brewery, blacksmith shop, general store, residences and “less reputable businesses” rounded out Emory City’s economy.
By late 1881, it became obvious that the CPR would make Yale, located 5km upstream, their centre for railroad activities and Emory City was abandoned. By the late 1890’s people travelling through the area said that not a trace of the city could be found as the forest had reclaimed the site.
Travelers can still explore Historic Emory City at the Hope River General Store, discover the workings of the Chinese miners and take a break in a peaceful park that was once part of the Cariboo Wagon Road.