The Bridge of the 23 Camels

 

To get started on our long road trip to Barkerville, we hit the road at about 9:00pm on a Friday night. Quite late, but we were excited to get on our way. After several hours behind the wheel my boyfriend decided to pull over into a rest stop to get some much-needed sleep before continuing on. We crawled into the back of the van and cozied up in our sleeping bags atop our air mattress and slept peacefully for several hours until the early morning light woke us up.

Not being familiar with the area, we got out and explored. I noticed a plaque and decided to take a closer look, only to find that the bridge next to the rest stop was dedicated to an interesting – and random – part of our province’s history that we certainly didn’t learn about in school.

Admittedly, this bridge isn’t much to look at when comparing it to famous world class versions – London Bridge, Ponte Vecchio and Golden Gate Bridge immediately come to my mind.

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But what does this bridge have that those fancy bridges don’t have?

Camels, I say! CAMELS!

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“The Bridge of the 23 Camels. So named to commemorate British Columbia’s first and last experience with camels, 23 of which were imported in 1862 by John C. Callbreath of Seton Portage to pack supplies from Lillooet to the Upper Cariboo. The experiment failed when the Bactrian camels were found to frighten horses, domestic animals and even humans. They were turned loose and most were never seen again. A few survived and the last died in 1905 after many years as a ranch pet. 
The Bridge of the 23 Camels was officially dedicated by the Honourable William R. Bennett, Premier of The Province of British Columbia, September 22, 1980.”

And this, friends, concludes today’s installment of useless and wonderfully random trivia.

– Marla

 

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