How Clinton came to be, what changed, Clinton today
The land inhabited by the Shuswap people gave way to settlement in the mid 1800’s with the discovery of gold and the development of the Cariboo wagon roads.
One road was constructed from Yale while another was pushed through from Harrison to Lillooet which was known as Mile 0. From Lillooet the road continued a further 47 miles over Pavillion Mountain, around Kelly Lake and through Cut-Off-Valley to converge with the Yale-Cariboo road. The community that was formed at the confluence of the two roads became known as Junction or 47 Mile. In 1863 the townsite was officially renamed “Clinton” by Queen Victoria in honour of Lord Henry Pelham Clinton.
During the Cariboo Gold Rush, Clinton was a busy junction on the wagon road to the gold fields of Barkerville. The location of the settlement made it an ideal resting place for weary travellers and miners en route.
Once “Gold Fever” subsided, the ranching industry developed, some of the original ranches such as Maiden Creek Ranch, Mound Ranch and Pollard Ranch are still operational today.
In the early 1950’s forestry became the mainstay of the economy. At one time, over 20 bush mills and saw mills operated in the area. Consolidation in the 1970’s led to only one operation surviving. Today this mill is known as Chasm Sawmills, a Division of West Fraser Mills.
Since the mid-1970’s, the population of Clinton has remained stable and has slowly increased. Today Clinton and area boast many facilities and landscaped parks while still retaining the flavour and appearance of a frontier town. 0n main street you will find quaint shops, gas stations, hotel, motels, pubs, coffee shop and restaurants, where one can enjoy a meal, rest, or explore the hidden treasures waiting to be purchased.
As Clinton evolves into the 21st century the community is working towards diversifying the economy and growing the population, ensuring the communities sustainability for years to come.