Bent Rods is located in Chilliwack, in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada.
Chilliwack is about a 1 hour drive East of Vancouver,
a 1 hour drive North from Washington, USA, and approximately 40 minutes West of Hope, BC…

Chilliwack is located in the Upper Fraser Valley, 102 kilometers southeast of Vancouver, and has a population of 91, 797 people. It is surrounded by mountains and recreational areas such as Cultus Lake. Because of this, opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, golf, and of course, fishing are numerous. Chilliwack is known for its agriculture, specifically fantastic locally grown corn. The word Chilliwack (Originally Chilliwhack) comes from the Halq’eméylem word “Ts’elxwéyeqw”, meaning “as far as you can go up river.“

Fraser River, Chilliwack Landing Photo from the Chilliwack Museum & Archives

Fraser River, Chilliwack Landing
Photo from the Chilliwack Museum & Archives

Vedder & Fraser River

The two main rivers in the area are the Fraser River and the Vedder River. The Vedder River runs for 80 kilometers in total. It is known as the Chilliwack River before it passes under the bridge at Vedder crossing, and it later becomes the Vedder Canal. The Vedder Canal was created in the 1920’s for the purpose of draining Sumas Lake to create Sumas Prairie. The Fraser River is the largest river in British Columbia. It begins in Yellowhead Lake on the British Columbia-Alberta border, and runs a total of 1,370 kilometers, finishing at the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the Mainland. The river was named for Simon Fraser, who was the first European to travel most of the River in 1808.

 History of the Fraser River

In the Fraser Valley in the mid-late 1800’s, Rivers and Lakes were the main method of transporting goods (including people) between various communities. The Fraser River was central to development in Chilliwack and surrounding areas. It provided convenient transportation of resources that was far more reliable during all seasons than roads at the time.
Many steamboats ran on the Fraser river, with the purpose of transporting individuals and any other goods from one place to another. The first steamer on the Fraser was called the SS Beaver, and it was used by Hudson’s Bay to transport materials. The last paddler in service on the Fraser was retired in 1981.
The earliest settlements in BC gathered along shores and river edges. This is because the water provided fertile soil for agricultural development, as well as resources. At the time, the river provided “more fish than they could possibly catch and more trees than they could imagine cutting.”

Harrison River

The Harrison River is located about 45 minutes from Chilliwack, in Harrison Hot Springs. It is the only area in BC that holds all 5 species of Salmon and Steelhead. This area is known for numerous reported Sasquatch sightings. Sasquatches are an important part of the oral histories of the First Nations communities of the surrounding area. They have been included in art pieces drawn by members of the Sts’ailes First Nations Community 8,000 years ago. Sightings have been reported for hundreds of years, with the most recent reported sighting happening in 2009.



Works Cited

Archives of British Columbia in cooperation with the British Columbia Historical Association
Edited by Lamb, W. Kaye; Ireland, Willard E.
The British Columbia Historical Quarterly
1946
www.library.ubc.ca

“Chilliwack/Vedder River“
Chilliwack British Columbia
tourismchilliwack.com

Harrison is Sasquatch Territory - about our Sasquatch
www.tourismharrison.com

“History of Chilliwack“
City of Chilliwack
www.chilliwack.com

Steamboats of the Lower Fraser River and Harrison Lake
en.wikipedia.org

Vedder River
en.wikipedia.org

Watt, K. Jane
High Water: Living with the Fraser Floods
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
2006