Historic film reveals a newly-completed Hope-Princeton Highway | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Historic film reveals a newly-completed Hope-Princeton Highway

This Royal B.C. Museum film from 1949-1951 provides some fascinating footage of the newly constructed Hope- Princeton Highway and other parts of Highway 3 from Hope to Kaleden.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Royal B.C. Museum
January 09, 2021 - 2:30 PM

Drivers familiar with the Hope-Princeton Highway may enjoy this Royal B.C. Museum video of the highway in its very early days.

The video, “Driving from Hope to Kaleden,” was sourced from a B.C. Government Travel Bureau film called “Peacetime in the Valley” issued between 1949 and 1951, shortly after the Hope to Princeton section of Highway 3 was completed.

Scenery along the route will be familiar, but the film captures the raw newness of the recently completed highway, with a narrative that also discusses the province’s highway building initiatives of the early 1950s.

"Broad highways, ribbons of engineering that spear across the low valleys and the long mountains we're putting east and west, north and south form a vast network to lead by one route or another, to the sunny Okanagan and its peaches," the narrator declares.

Vintage vehicles can be seen as the film travels the highway, with now-quaint safety features like wooden guard rails lining the highway at strategic points.

Familiar landmarks include the newly completed Manning Park Lodge, Yellow Lake on Highway 3A, and a vintage view of Princeton’s Main Street.

There’s also an interesting shot of the bridge crossing the Similkameen River in Princeton, with a still-active Great Northern Railway highway crossing and its accompanying train signals still intact.

The film takes us beyond the Hope-Princeton portion of the highway to the junction of Highway 3A with Highway 97 near Penticton, providing some mid-twentieth century views of the Similkameen valley, Hedley and Keremeos.

Indeed, the new road was a sign times had changed on the historic route, which followed in parts, the pioneer Dewdney Trail built in the 1860s to connect the Lower Mainland with Fort Steele near present-day Cranbrook.

Credit: Royal B.C. Museum
Highway 3 from Hope to Kaleden


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