Heading west from Jasper we headed to our next stop which was Tête Jaune Cache where we had booked the Tête Jaune Lodge for 2 nights to give us a chance to explore the Mount Robson National Park. We passed the park HQ as we neared Tête Jaune Cache so we dropped in to pick up some information about potential walks for the next day. The National Park centres were always an excellent source of information with maps, guides and of course Park Rangers who can inform you of all the areas of interest.
Tête Jaune Cache is an unincorporated rural area and the site of an important abandoned historic town in British Columbia, Canada. Its population is approximately 500. It is located on the Fraser River in the Robson Valley at the intersection of Yellowhead Highways 5 and 16.
Tête Jaune Cache was named after a Métis fur trader and trapper named Pierre Bostonais who guided for the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1800s. Bostonais was nicknamed Tête Jaune by the French voyageurs because of his blonde hair. (Tête Jaune is French for yellow head.) The Secwepemc First Nations people had an established village of tents and pit houses on the banks of the Fraser in this area rich in salmon and wild berries when discovered by Bostonais, but the townsite land of Tête Jaune Cache was officially located in 1901 and crown-granted (patented) in 1902. During the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. Tête Jaune Cache was a prosperous community and was the head of navigation for the paddle steamers of Foley, Welch and Stewart and the BC Express Company. The town was a booming collection of lumber shacks, tents, and log houses which brought thousands of pioneers, trappers, prospectors, foresters, and entrepreneurs to the Robson CValley. Major industries in historic Tête Jaune were timber, railways, steamship trade, and mining, especially for the locally abundant mica. Some of the largest and cleanest sheets of mica extracted in the era of its highest demand (for its usage in lanterns and stoves) came from this region, and the remains of one such mine can still be found on the popular Mica Mountain hiking trail. The pool halls, theatres, restaurants, jewellers, lady barbers, saloons, and trading posts are no more, with only a few stone chimneys remaining as evidence of this bustling town’s existence, but the Valley Museum and Archives in McBride, as well as the Valemount Historical Society maintains an excellent collection of photographs from the heyday of this boom town, c. 1910-1918.
We arrived at Tête Jaune Lodge mid afternoon and the weather was just perfect. Our room was right down close to the river and there were a number of seats laid out by the Fraser River so we sat down there with a nice cold beer and enjoyed the warm rays of the sun and the soothing sounds of the fast flowing river.
Tête Jaune Lodge was in a great setting with two blocks of rooms and even a large area for camper vans and tents. They had a restaurant, the Riverside Cafe, right by the side of the river and a beautifully painted old trailer which was used as a dry store for the restaurant.
The restaurant was in an old wooden cabin and was not open the first night we arrived but the second night we ate there. It was a casual restaurant with good home cooking and a large buffet so was excellent. You could sit outside on the patio right by the river but by evening it was cold and we waited to get a table in the nice warm room heated by an old log fire.
They had a wonderful selection of local craft beers which went well with my meal.
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