Sagebrush, Steers and Saddlesores

Creator(s): Historic Hat Creek Ranch

Ranching in British Columbia's Southern Interior

Ranching has been the backbone of the economy in British Columbia's southern interior for over a century, but little is known about the generations of rugged ranchers and cowboys who lived and worked here. This exhibit focuses on the ranches and homesteads around Historic Hat Creek Ranch, located approximately 11 km north of Cache Creek, B.C. This ranch was one of the first roadhouses along the "Cariboo Wagon Road", raising its own livestock to supply fresh meat to weary travelers headed for the goldfields at Barkerville.

Cowboy Life in British Columbia, 1850-1950

The stories and photos in this exhibit describe the lives of these hardy, down-to-earth men who worked on their homesteads or were hired by one of the larger ranches in the area. In this tough environment, racial prejudices and cultural differences were put aside. The story of Chinese cowboy Ernie Yet tells how aboriginal, Chinese and white cowboys worked side by side, respecting each other for their knowledge, skills and work ethic. Cowboy friendships bridged the gap between the different cultures and lasted a lifetime.

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