If you’re traveling north from Mile 0 at Dawson Creek, British Columbia, step back to pre-Alaska Highway times when the area was first settled.
In Mile 0 Park, Dawson Creek, you’ll find the Walter Wright Pioneer Village. A heritage village, it explores the history of the early pioneers who settled here, up to the Alaska Highway construction period.
Take the self guided walking tour and picture the tough life of the early pioneers. Step inside the general store and see what’s for sale! There are numerous buildings to explore, including churches and schoolhouses.
Near the church, at the far end of the street, you’ll find a large collection of vintage farming equipment and a garden. Imagine working the untamed land at the turn of the last century.
Wander through eleven themed gardens and a memorial rose garden, enjoying the sights and smells. There’s a small walking path through them, with a bench at the entrance.
Walter Wright Pioneer Village is open for self guided and group tours. Reservations are recommended for large groups.
Here’s a first-hand account of a walking tour, courtesy of Tourism BC:
“Yesterday I got to go see the Walter Wright Pioneer Village in the beautiful town of Dawson Creek. According to the Self Guided Walking Tour, all of the buildings are originally from the Dawson Creek district. Walter Wright himself went out to the farm fields around the area and collected or bought all of the buildings. There are amazing houses from some of the pioneering families. I couldn’t imagine living in such a small log house with no running water! The houses are all refurbished with quilts, china, clothing, and household necessities from the era. Beautiful pianos can be found in both of the churches and some of the houses. In the Johnson-Davis house there are four antique Singer sewing machines, all in beautiful condition. When I walked further down the wooden boardwalks I got the feeling of a true pioneer town. I stepped into the General Store and was amazed at the variety of items the store sold. The antique cash register was the highlight, for me. To see a horse collar, and single tree was quite interesting. Across the gravel street is the Blacksmith shop. There is an abundance of tools and a forge. On one of the walls there are many cross-cutting saws; that were used before the power-saw for cutting logs for buildings. In the village, there are two school houses, both full of school desks, books, maps, and pictures.
Further out on the lawn and under covered sheds lays the machinery. There are multiple horse drawn thrashers and other farm equipment. Closer up to the Visitor Center two bulldozers can be found. One was so tiny I can’t fathom how it moved any dirt or snow. The other was a much larger, bright red one. I really enjoyed my experience at Pioneer Village.”
Quote from Tourism BC May 21st 2009
Header Image Credit: Peace Photographics