Twelve Mile on Kamloops Lake
Posted on: October 10, 2018 3:24 pm
by: Doug Smith
Rousseau Creek runs down from Red Plateau on the western side of Rousseau Hill. A fan-shaped gentle slope fills an area of 500 sq meters by 500 sq m next to the creek, the site of the former Twelve Mile Ranch. Little is known about the ranch, but I spent a day paddling over to the beach in front and then hiked the lands, looking for artifacts and signs of the former homesteader.
From Tobiano I paddled over to the steep cliffs of Rousseau Hill, then along the shoreline to the west. A beach fronts the Twelve Mile bench and a concrete block building sits on the edge of the grassy terrace overlooking the lake.
Above the terrace the slopes of Rousseau Hill rise on grassy slopes. In this photo is a small concrete block building just above the creek, possibly a pumphouse. An old double track can be seen climbing into the hills above.
In late September there was water flowing down Rousseau Creek so a ranchers would have had water for the fields with the use of some hoses/pipes. On the property. I found some rubber hoses and some small structures to anchor them.
The CN line was built along the north shore of Kamloops Lake in 1915, separating the pasture from the lake. A 7589 foot siding was built on the property and the station was named Jaleslie. The siding is no longer there, but there is a dirt track below the rail line. The lower area is now a mass of prickly pear cactus.
The concrete block building was probably built by CN. In Mona Saemerow’s book “Then and Now”, she writes that the CN built station houses and storage sheds at Copper Creek and this may have been a storage/maintenance building for the railway siding operation.
Above the section of land the slopes of Rousseau Hill rise up, ragged with volcanic features overlooking the lake. Mr. E. Rousseau had a ranch and kept a store at Copper Creek, buying it from Mr. Ballantyne in 1934. His children got their education by correspondence.
The Hudson Bay Brigade Trail (1843) dropped from the Dewdrop Range down to Red Point then came across this area on its way to Copper Creek before climbing up the Carbine Creek Valley.
The area above the CN right of way is now part of the Dewdrop -Rousseau Creek Wildlife Management Area, managed by the Ministry of Lands., Forest, and Natural Resource Operations.