This article was translated by John R. Bopp
More information about this region of Canada here.
We imagine our readers find this as strange as we did when we found out that there’s an Indian Reservation on the west coast of Canada called Basque. Since we’re very curious by nature, we couldn’t resist digging deeper.
The truth is that we had very little to start with: just a reference on a website of old maps to an area in British Columbia called “Basque”. Why would there be a place with a name like that 200 miles (300km) from Vancouver? Our curiosity only increased when we saw the nearby Basque Indian Reservation 18.
After more than a few rounds on the internet, and after coming to the conclusion that the mystery was to remain so, we found a reference to a local paper in the area, The Rattler, published in Spences Bridge. On a links page, under the title “Historical”, we found a link with a fundamental clue:
“The Basque Indian Reserve 18” (British Columbia)
That is, this was the place where in 1915, the last section of the Canadian Northern Railway was laid. But the question still remained: why the name “Basque”? The link on the Rattler website took us to a Wikipedia article giving a brief description of the locale.
And that’s as far as we’ve been able to get for now: the name comes from a ranch founded by the Basque family, and they were one of the first in the interior of British Columbia.
We know that Vancouver has a large Basque Club. Perhaps they might know about this ranch, the Indian reservation, and the history? It’d be amazing if they did and could let us in on the details!
Until then, we’ll just have to live with this exotic story from the west of Canada, 200mi/300km from Vancouver, where today there is a ranch and a reservation called “Basque”.
I’m sure you’ll agree this is pretty weird!
We’ll leave you with the Wikipedia article and a video of images from the lands of the Basque Ranch and a map. We’ll also leave you with the entry in the Kamloops Naturalist Club’s blog that talks about a great trail through the area, including a great photo collection.
Wikipedia – – Canada
Basque, British Columbia
Basque, British Columbia, is located in the province of British Columbia, Canada, near the village of Ashcroft. It is the post office and whistlestop-crossing on the historic Basque Ranch, one of the earliest ranches in the Interior of British Columbia. One of the descendants of the Basque family is Garnet Basque, a notable popular historian in BC who has written extensively on ranching and the gold rush history. Basque is notable as the location where the Canadian Northern Railway drove its Last Spike in 1915.
Kamloops Naturalist Club – 10/5/2012 – Canadá
A busy spring has prevented me from updating this web page, so here goes. I have just returned from a 2 day rafting adventure on the Thompson River and I just have to share the memories of this great trip. I was with a group of others who will act as on-board guides for some learning-adventure trips with Kumsheen Rafting happening this summer. I will be the pontoon-riding naturalist leader on the June 21-22 trip as will Jim Ginns on a trip later in July. Acclaimed writer/naturalist/photographer Murphy Shewchuck will be a leader on a trip focused on geology, gold panning and history and professional photographer Don MacGregor and nature photographer Mike Woodworth will lead another trip specializing in photography. These will be exciting and fun journeys through a spectacular part of our region and I can’t recommend them enough. Visit this site for details http://kumsheen.com/naturalist/.
#247 The View From Basque Ranch 2012-07-09
The location of The Basque Ranch and The Basque Indian Reserve