During the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific, transportation via the Fraser River was the most common method of travel. In 1912 and 1913, large sternwheelers travelled between Tete Jaune and Prince George, carrying freight and passengers. That ended in August 1913, when railway bridges blocked their travel along the Fraser River.
After 1913, those living on the North side of the river had limited access to the village and railway for supplies and marketing their products. There were private ferries in existence between McBride and Tete Jaune, but the distance was quite great. So, the newly formed McBride Farmer’s Institute petitioned the government for a ferry at the end of Main Street to improve access by people on the other side of the river. In 1920, the Ferry was put in and Jack Sharples became McBride’s first ferryman, followed by Jim Campbell. In 1925, a wooden bridge replaced the ferry and for over forty years was the only road out of McBride. The bridge remained in use until 1968, when it was replaced with the current Fraser River Bridge upstream. Where you are standing was once Highway 16 and was later re-named Bridge Road.
Photo: Valley Museum and Archives – 2003.22.57