Fraser River Pioneer site



There are many Chinese mining sites along the Fraser river. This particular site is near the old ferry landing used in the late 1800s to access the west side of the Fraser river near what is now Williams Lake. The landing is a couple of kilometres upstream from the Chinese camp and mining site. Right across the river from the landing is Swanson flat. At the same time as the Chinese were mining gold nearby, Swanson raised cattle and had a large garden nearby. Shards from Chinese pots have been found near the site of his house. The site is very large, possibly the largest Chinese mining camp in the area. There is a small year-round stream at the back of Swanson flat but its not too far fetched to imagine that he obtained water from the Chinese ditch for irrigation. The ditch passes nearby. The ditch originated in Meldrum lake, about 15 miles from the actual site of the diggings. The ditch was engineered to drop 8 feet per mile, a serious engineering task!

Roy and I (I'm on the left) standing on the high bank above the Fraser river looking downstream toward the Chinese placer mine----


We didn't get to the upper part of the ditch so I didn't get any photos of it. The only photo I have of it is possibly the exhaust ditch that took the remaining water down to the Fraser.

The site of the ferry on the east bank of the Fraser. In this picture the Fraser river is in a full high-water state so details along the bank are obscured. The road came down the visible cut right to the shore. There are ruins of a couple of buildings on the west side up a ways from the water.



Swanson flat, near the high bank over the Fraser. Roy and Jean with Duffy-----



Sign on tree----



Two graves are located on a small knoll to the west of the flat. They are Swanson himself and his 6 year old son. These graves and signs were fixed up by a volunteer historian (Dave Faulkner) who did the same with many grave sites in the area, many years ago now--



Swanson's marker--



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