St. John the Divine
On Lee House
Front Street Saloons
The Branch saloon and Bennett's saloon are only two of many that were constructed along busy Front street. They catered to the miners thirst, which was especially great on pay day. Gordon J. Smith, a journalist and historian, wrote on of his Historical Sketches on the subject of Yale. This scene may be what one would see along Yale's Front street:
Contemporary artists have left prints depicting Front street depicting a row of gabled log building with almost every alternate one labelled "saloon" - often it is also a gaming house. The ungraded street is shown as thronged with a heterogeneous collection of people - hoop-skirted women and flannel-shirted miners with long boots, some depicted as dancing a jig on the street or the rough board walk. The places of amusement never closed their doors, day or night. Bennett's ga[m]bling house, a large log structure where the roulette wheels were constantly turning, was the chief rendezvous, and here public gatherings took place. Panama Lil had her log hut ornately furnished, its trappings being brought from San Francisco, and the lamps with their clusters of dangling prisms were features. There were restaurants, saloons and more saloons. (BC Archives: MS-0383)
Episodes at the saloon proved Yale to be a dangerous gold rush town.
Bennett's saloon was the setting for a grizzly story. D. W. Higgins, who was a resident of Yale in its early days, told the tale of probably the most senseless death witnessed in the town in his "Chasing the Golden Butterfly":
Supporters for British Columbia to join confederation with Canada met in Yale.
The Yale convention was a meeting held in the autumn of 1868 after the idea of British Columbia to enter Canada had been decided against in Victoria. Avid supporters met in Yale to discuss the idea, and their summary has been digitized. The convention may have been held in a saloon, since they were the only places with enough room to hold all the members of the confederation league.
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