A History of Lakelse Hot Springs

Creator(s): Heritage Park Museum

Today, the mineral pools at Mt. Layton Hot Springs Resort are not open to the public. The waterslides sag further each year, and half of the buildings on the property have sat vacant since a regional economic decline in the 1990s, plastic tacked along the framed windows in the illusion that the halting of construction was momentary. Their present state belies the central role the hot springs played in the history and identity of the northwest region of British Columbia.

Throughout its tumultuous history, the hot springs has been frequented by residents of the northwest in pursuit of leisure, health, and entertainment. It is thus a site of memory and community: the recollection of time spent at the hot springs brings together people from diverse backgrounds and communities. The resonance the place holds for the people of Terrace echoes its general importance in regional history. The various ambitions, economic downturns, and natural disasters reflect and inform patterns of history in northwestern British Columbia.

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