McLure ferry turns 100

A ferry operating north of Kamloops is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

The historic McLure Ferry, located about 40 kilometres north of Kamloops, first began operation in 1919, and it has been transporting people and vehicles across the North Thompson River ever since.

“We owe a lot to these little ferries, more than many would realize,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“Before our road network was built, inland ferries were used by ranchers, railway workers and others travelling through the Interior. Even livestock was moved by ferry.”

The McLure ferry is one of five “reaction ferries” - those propelled by the current of the river - still in operation in B.C. There was once more than 35 in use across the province.

There are still 14 inland-ferry routes in B.C. though. In addition to the five reaction ferries, five others are operated by cable, three are free running and one is pulled by a tug.

The McLure ferry connects those on Highway 5 with the west side of the river, with a capacity of 12 passengers and just two vehicles. An average crossing takes five minutes.

The province is commemorating the ferry's 100th birthday by installing a provincial coat of arms on it, and a commemorative plaque on the east side of the river later this summer.

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