Arts, Culture & History

Partake in the Pioneer Spirit!

After the fur traders came the packers, miners, telegraph operators, surveyors and finally, settlers looking for the free land of the frontier. In 1906, the Village of Vanderhoof was only a survey line in the wilderness to mark the location of the marked railway. When the last spike was driven on 7th April, 1914, it started a race for the land. The Grand Trunk Pacific Development Company offered cheap land and had one of their employees, Mr. Herbert Vanderhoof, lay out the townsite. Vanderhoof is Dutch for “of the farm”, which was very appropriate, since it was the first agricultural settlement in the province. The town grew, and in 1926, the Village of Vanderhoof was born.

With the arrival of World War ll, many young men left, and Vanderhoof came to a standstill. But with the rise in lumber prices, and the arrival of new people in the late 1940s, it started to grow again. The next boost to the population and the economy came with the construction of Kenney Dam in the early 1950s. At the peak of its construction it employed 1,500 men, and a number of them stayed in the area after the dam was built. The next expansion period came with a large influx of American immigrants in the 1960s, and since that time, Vanderhoof has enjoyed steady growth.

There is no opera house here, but plenty of ranching and logging history and lore to be explored at the Heritage Village Museum. Vanderhoof is a real live working town typical of the economic life of the north. The town is a central service area for a population of 22,000, with forestry and agriculture, including Buffalo and Ostrich farms, being the mainstays of the local economy.

Visit the Museum

At the west end of Vanderhoof on Highway 16 is the Vanderhoof Heritage Museum offering visitors a glimpse into the 1920s. Tour guides provide slide shows and walking tours. Included in the tour is a 30-minute stroll through a 1920s farmhouse, hotel and jailhouse.

A 20-minute nature walk wanders through other heritage buildings such as the Yukon telegraph cabin and a one-room school. Self-guided tours are also an option.

7 days a week

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