Brookmere

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Brookmere
Locality
Brookmere is located in British Columbia
Brookmere
Brookmere
Coordinates: 49°49′05″N 120°52′30″W / 49.81806°N 120.87500°W / 49.81806; -120.87500
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
RegionNicola Country
Regional DistrictThompson-Nicola
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
Area codes250, 778, 236, & 672
Highwaysoff Hwy 5

Brookmere is an unincorporated community adjacent to Brook Creek in the Nicola region of southern British Columbia.[1][2] The former railway town, on Coldwater Rd (exit 256 from the Coquihalla Highway), is by road about 44 kilometres (27 mi) south of Merritt.

Name origin[edit]

Louis Henry Brooks and Phillip R. Brooks settled around 1909, naming the place as Brooksville.[1][3] However, the general area was known as Otter Summit,[4] deriving from Spearing Creek (formerly called the west arm of Otter Creek).[1] The Kettle Valley Railway (KVR), a Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) subsidiary, called its station Otter Summit. The Vancouver, Victoria and Eastern Railway (VV& E), a Great Northern Railway subsidiary, renamed the station as Brookmere in October 1914,[5] acknowledging one or both of the Brooks brothers.[1][6] The KVR may not have officially changed the name until 1915, and an overlap in common usage occurred.[7][8]

Rear of roundhouse, rail yard, station, and water tower, Brookmere, BC, 1924

Railway[edit]

The KVR rail head from Merritt reached Otter Summit in September 1911,[5] and trains operated the following year.[9] In April 1913, the KVR and VV&E agreed to share the trackage to be laid between Hope and Princeton. The KVR would build eastward from Hope, and the VV&E westward from Princeton. In October 1914, Louis Hill drove the last spike five days after the two railways connected at Brookmere. The KVR passenger service through the stop began in May 1915.[5]

In 1916, the KVR constructed a station, small workshop, and three-stall roundhouse.[10] Assumedly, the water tank and 21-metre (70 ft) diameter turntable were built at this time. No evidence exists to indicate the VV&E built infrastructure at, or operated from, Brookmere.[11] The KVR station, destroyed by fire in January 1917,[12] was rebuilt by CP, but was available for joint use with GN.[5] The replacement four-stall roundhouse, built in 1944, which was destroyed by a boiler explosion in 1947,[13] was rebuilt.

Passenger excursion, Brookmere, BC, 1983

Odlum (previously called Petain and west of Hope) to Brookmere was the Coquihalla Subdivision, and Brookmere to Penticton was the Princeton Subdivision. After the Coquihalla Subdivision remained unrepaired after the 1959 washouts, Princeton Subdivision became Spences Bridge to Penticton, and Brookmere ceased to be a divisional point. In 1966, Brookmere closed as a crew base.[14] Passenger service ended in 1964.[15]

By 1980, the former station building had been moved and became a private residence, but later burned down. CP ran the final freight train through Brookmere in 1989, and all track southeast of Spences Bridges was lifted by the end of summer 1991.[14][16] Under threat of demolition, the two-spouted water tower was moved to its present location on an adjacent private property, where the pit of the former turntable still exists.

The Brookmere train station was 6.0 kilometres (3.7 mi) northwest of Spearing, and 6.6 kilometres (4.1 mi) east of Brodie.[17]

Train Timetables (Regular stop or Flag stop)
Year 1915 1916 1922 1926 1929 1932 1935 1939 1943 1948 1953 1954 1961
Ref. [18] [8] [19] [20] [21] [22] [17] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28]
to/from Vancouver via Hopea Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
to/from Spences Bridge Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
to/from Vancouver via Spences Bridge Regular Regularb

^a . The Coquihalla Pass was frequently closed for lengthy periods, especially during winter and spring, with rail traffic for Vancouver diverted via Spences Bridge.[29]
^b . The Dayliner connected with the Dominion on the main line at Spences Bridge.[20]

Early community[edit]

In 1915, the Betterton Fraser syndicate, owner of the Hastings Ranch, established the townsite of Brookmere on the property, erecting a sawmill to cut lumber for the construction of new buildings.[30][31] E.J. Marshall was the inaugural postmaster 1916–1917.[32] In 1916, C.R. Betterton, of Betterton Fraser, opened the Brookmere Hotel,[33] with the general store likely being established around the same time.[34] The store appears to have been housed inside the hotel during the early years.[35] The hotel closed around 1935,[36] the vacant building apparently consumed by fire a couple of years later. The general store, linked to Merritt by a substandard road, operated at least into the late 1950s,[37][38] and possibly existed until the closure of the post office in 1969.[1]

The estimated population was 25 in 1923,[39] 125 in 1934,[40] 169 in 1945,[41] and 172 in 1948.[42] In 1953, the replacement of steam locomotives with diesels, dramatically reduced the population. The arrival of workers to build the Trans Mountain pipeline brought new residents[43] for a few years, before the construction contingent moved on and the houses were removed.

Later community[edit]

Prior to the opening of the Coquihalla Highway in 1986, Brookmere was quite remote. Nowadays, the village has a small permanent population, most residents being seasonal. The water supply comes from wells and a small dam on Brook Creek, but the water is not potable.

Recreation[edit]

The former railbed, which runs adjacent to the settlement, is a linear parkway forming part of the Trans Canada Trail.

The area is also popular with ATV and motorcycle enthusiasts in summer, and snowmobiles in winter. Coldwater Rd has been used several times as a transit section for the Mountain Trials Rally, headquartered in Merritt.

See also[edit]

  • "Brookmere". www michaelkluckner.com.
  • Smuin, Joe (2003). Kettle Valley Railway Mileboards: A Historical Field Guide to the KVR. North Kildonan Publications. ISBN 0-9696971-2-0.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Brookmere (locality)". BC Geographical Names.
  2. ^ "Brook Creek (creek)". BC Geographical Names.
  3. ^ "Nicola Valley News, 1 Dec 1911". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 4.
  4. ^ "Nicola Valley News, 3 Nov 1911". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 3.
  5. ^ a b c d "The Kettle Valley Line". www.crowsnest-highway.ca.
  6. ^ "Nicola Valley News, 7 Jul 1916". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 4.
  7. ^ "Daily News, 14 Dec 1915". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 7.
  8. ^ a b "Nicola Valley News, 21 Jul 1916". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 2.
  9. ^ "Hedley Gazette, 26 Dec 1912". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 1.
  10. ^ "BC Record, 25 Aug 1916". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 1.
  11. ^ Burrows, R.G. (1984). Railway Mileposts of British Columbia. Volume II. The Southern Routes from the Crowsnest to the Coquihalla. Gordon Soules Book Pub. ISBN 0-9690617-1-4.
  12. ^ "Ledge, 8 Feb 1917". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 1.
  13. ^ "Province, 21 Mar 1949". www.newspapers.com. p. 13. A 20-year-old CPR watchman was seriously hurt earlier today in a boiler explosion in the roundhouse at Brookmere….
  14. ^ a b "Branchline, Feb 2008" (PDF). www.bytownrailwaysociety.ca. Bytown Railway Society. pp. 3, 6–8.
  15. ^ "Rock Creek". www.crowsnest-highway.ca.
  16. ^ "Sunday Summit and Down to Princeton". www.crowsnest-highway.ca.
  17. ^ a b "1935 timetable". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 13 (TT 70).
  18. ^ "Daily Colonist, 2 Jun 1915". www.archive.org. p. 5.
  19. ^ "Vancouver Daily World, 9 Sep 1922". www.newspapers.com. p. 15. In the case of the route from Hope to Merritt cars must be loaded at 11 a.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays will arrive at Merritt 8 o’clock the next morning. Motorists taking the passenger train at Hope at 10:25 a.m. change at Brookmere leaving there at six o’clock the next morning and travelling for two hours to Merritt.
  20. ^ a b "Newsletter, Sep 1968" (PDF). www.amazonaws.com. Upper Canada Railway Society. pp. 8–9 (104–105).
  21. ^ "1929 timetable". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 31 (TT122, 123).
  22. ^ "1932 timetable". www.library.ubc.ca. pp. 469, 470 (TT151, 154).
  23. ^ "1939 timetable". www.library.ubc.ca. pp. 126, 127 (TT151, 154).
  24. ^ "1943 timetable" (PDF). www.streamlinermemories.info. pp. 46, 47 (TT151, 154).
  25. ^ "1948 timetable". www.library.ubc.ca. pp. 45, 46 (TT151, 154).
  26. ^ "1953 timetable". www.library.ubc.ca. pp. 44, 46 (TT121, 131).
  27. ^ "1954 timetable". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 44, 46 (TT121, 131).
  28. ^ "1961 timetable". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 73 (TT40).
  29. ^ "Penticton Herald, 2 Aug 2016". www.pentictonherald.ca.
  30. ^ "Nicola Valley News, 9 Jul 1915". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 1.
  31. ^ "Nicola Valley News, 15 Oct 1915". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 1.
  32. ^ "Postmasters". www.bac-lac.gc.ca.
  33. ^ "Nicola Valley News, 25 Aug 1916". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 1.
  34. ^ "1918 BC Directory". www.bccd.vpl.ca.
  35. ^ "Ledge, 2 Aug 1923". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 1.
  36. ^ "1935 BC Directory". www.bccd.vpl.ca.
  37. ^ "Okanagan History, 2010". www.library.ubc.ca. Okanagan Historical Society. p. 26.
  38. ^ "Vancouver Sun, 3 Jan 1957". www.newspapers.com. p. 3. BROOKMERE, east of Merritt–General store proprietor bringing supplies to village on icy, 30-mile road to Merritt which commercial truckers have refused to use.
  39. ^ "Business and industrial opportunities in western Canada, 1923". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 9.
  40. ^ "1934 BC Directory". www.bccd.vpl.ca.
  41. ^ "1945 BC Directory". www.bccd.vpl.ca.
  42. ^ "1948 BC Directory". www.bccd.vpl.ca.
  43. ^ "Province, 22 Sep 1953". www.newspapers.com. p. 36. BROOKMERE–Eight new modern houses are to be completed next month for employees of the Trans-Mountain oil pipeline, which has been laid five miles west of here. This new population is giving a boost to this community on the CPR Kettle Valley Line 144 miles east of Vancouver. As a railway divisional point, it had faced a loss of residents with the dieselization program of the company.

Coordinates: 49°49′05″N 120°52′30″W / 49.81806°N 120.87500°W / 49.81806; -120.87500