The Last Big Cattle Drives

In the years following World War II, large herds of cattle from the outlying ranches were driven in to the stockyards where they were shipped out by rail.

A photograph of a cattle drive near Williams Lake. Click to enlarge,
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Cattle drive near Williams Lake. Courtesy of the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin.

But, by the mid-1950s, when a majority of cattle were being sent to feedlots in Alberta, more than 70 percent of them were shipped by truck. The last big cattle drives were from the Chilcotin area to Williams Lake, where drives lasting eight to ten days were common. These same drives can now be made by truck in a day. With the passing of the long overland cattle drives, another colourful chapter of British Columbia ranching came to a close.


A photograph of cattle being driven down to the Chimney  Creek bridge.Click to enlarge,
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Cattle stringing down hill from Chilcotin to Chimney Creek Bridge. Courtesy of the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin.

A photograph of George Powers driving cattle on the Chilcotin Trail. Click to enlarge,
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George Powars on the Chilcotin Trail. Courtesy of the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin.

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