Tree Frog Forestry News

The true story of the Hope-Princeton Gallows

By Brian Wilson, Okanagan Archive Trust Society
Pentiction Western News
June 13, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

There is confusion about the history the big fire and of this sign. Here’s the true story. The “Big Burn” was first reported on August 8th, 1945 by a Canadian Pacific Airline pilot who saw it from his flight path. …The story of the cigarette is not altogether true. Actually, the true cause of the fire was a slash burn that got away from workers building the Hope-Princeton Highway. Because of the rough terrain between the Allison hill and the Skagit Bluffs, it was not until August 11th that 140 men were able to reach the centre of the fire zone. …August 26th during a long rain storm [the fire] was declared “out”. By then the fire had devastated 5,920 acres of prime timber. …The gallows wasn’t erected until well after the Hope-Princeton was officially opened in 1949. …When capital punishment ended in Canada in 1962, the gallows became inappropriate and was taken down.

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