Ceal Tingley Memorial Park-Heritage Corner

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Ceal Tingley Memorial Park-Heritage Corner is prominently located along Front Street where the Fraser and Quesnel Rivers meet in Downtown Quesnel, BC. The historic place includes the artefacts and property they occupy.

Heritage Value
Ceal Tingley Memorial Park-Heritage Corner is located in Downtown Quesnel which is the commercial and administrative center of the city. While not in their original location, the artefacts are a physical reminder of the people and industries that shaped the development of Quesnel.

The park is named for Ceal Tingley who was born in 1913. He arrived in Quesnel from the Queen Charlotte Islands with his pioneering parents, Freeman and Bertha (Litke) Tingley in 1920. The Tingley family were welcomed at the ferry by John A. Fraser. They built a log house on their small farm along Baker Creek in West Quesnel. The family lived there until Ceal’s father died. Ceal worked as a janitor in the school, farmed the family homestead, hauled wood to the mines and freight to work camps. In the 1950s, Ceal ran as a Conservative in the Provincial election. From 1970 to 1976, Ceal was the Mayor of Quesnel. The Tingley family is recognized for their contribution to the development of the community with a street named in their honour. Ceal Tingley Memorial Park acknowledges the valuable role Ceal Tingley played in growth of the city.

Located at the southern end of this site is a steam shovel used by the Cariboo Hydraulic Mining Company for their Bullion Mine in the early 1900s. This shovel was used to dig a trench from Spanish Lake to the Bullion Mine which closed in 1912. The park is also the location of Alexander Mackenzie’s landing in 1793, Simon Fraser’s landing 1808, and a settlement for First Nations. This site was the terminus for the horse-drawn transportation route known as the ‘Cariboo Wagon Road’ and the docking point for the sternwheelers carrying passengers and freight.

Heritage Corner is located at the northern end of the park adjacent to the Fraser River Walking Bridge. The artefacts on display include a replica of a Cornish water wheel that was originally located at Williams Creek in Barkerville. It serves as a memorial to the many Cariboo miners that were the first pioneers in the area. The original water wheel was built of cast iron and used in hydraulic mining in the later years of the Cariboo Gold Rush. Also located in the same area of the park is a telegraph cairn erected to commemorate the Collins Overland Telegraph lines that began in Quesnel in 1865. Until 1907, Quesnel was the terminus for the telegraph line. The telegraph made Quesnel a very important component of early communications in the northern part of British Columbia.

The boiler of ‘The Enterprise’, the first steamship to arrive in Quesnel in 1863 from Alexandria, is also on display at the northern end of the park. Gustavus Wright was the owner of ‘The Enterprise’. There were twelve paddle-wheelers that used the Fraser River to transport miners and supplies. The boiler serves as a visible reminder of the important role that transportation has played in the development of Quesnel.

Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of Ceal Tingley Memorial Park-Heritage Corner include:

  • prominently located in Downtown Quesnel;
  • historic landing place of Alexander Mackenzie in 1793 and Simon Fraser in 1808;
  • settlement area for First Nations;
  • the trading center for the area;
  • a steam shovel used to dig a trench for the Cariboo Hydraulic Mining Company at their Bullion Mine;
  • a replica of the Cornish water wheel used at Williams Creek in Barkerville;
  • a telegraph cairn as a reminder of the Collins Overland Telegraph, an early communications system in Quesnel;
  • the boiler of the first steamship to arrive in Quesnel, ‘The Enterprise’.
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