Orange and yellow aspen mark the field boundaries.
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Tatla Lake Region

"There they built a fine new house." - Graham Inn

For a long time, Tatla Lake was considered the 'end of the road' or the end of the Chilcotin Highway if it could be called such. The few people that lived west of Tatla struggled over a poor horse track on horseback or bounced over it with team and wagon.

The first man to take up land at Tatla Lake was a Lieutenant Martin who by the spring of 1890 had developed a fine ranch. Benjamin Franklin purchased Martin's land and on March 15, 1892 decided to prove an experiment. Accompanied by two Indian guides, he set out to prove that a route could be put through from the Chilcotin to Victoria via Knight's Inlet. Making the trip on foot, using horses, snowshoes and by canoe, it took him six days to make 130 miles to the ocean. Franklin was hoping to convince the government that a shorter more direct road to the Chilcotin from the Coast should be built this way. The Victoria Colonist on April 13, 1892, reported that, "The two Indians who accompanied Franklin to Victoria had never been in a city before. Never seen a railway, a steamboat, or a street car and the Indians themselves were a curiosity to the city folks as they passed up Government Street with their bundles of furs on their backs and their rifles in hand." *
Since no such route is in existance, it is to be assumed that Franklin did not succeed in convincing the government that the way was feasible.

In the early 1900's Franklin sold his Tatla Lake property to Robert Graham who had followed in the wake of the gold rush to northern BC prior to his purchase. In 1909, Graham went back to Scotland and returned with a wife, baby daughter and step-daughter. The Grahams built a fine new house in 1930 as well as a store. That distint house is now Graham Inn and has long been known for its good food served to travelers along the Chilcotin Highway.

A thriving ranch developed then still exists today and was where a Post Office was a established in 1914 where mail only came in once a month at first, and then every two weeks. Graham's son acquired a bulldozer with which to improve the ranch and used it to build roads all over the Chilcotn, including helping to build the road to Bella Coola.

Tatla Lake is probably best known for its fantastic view of sawtoothed mountains that seem so close you feel you can reach out and touch them. It is the gateway to the west as well as to the Tatlayoko Valley, and a string of lakes called Horn, Sapeye, Bluff and Middle Lake, known for their excellent fishing.

Graham Inn still serves fine food and there are two accommodations operations in Tatla Lake proper as well as a grocery store, school, and nursing station.

Folks in Tatla Lake and surrounding area are very pro-active and involved in their community and host a number of events throughout the year. There is an extensive cross country trail system in winter, hiking, camping, birdwatching, mountain biking, and excellent fishing in surrounding lakes in summer.

*Source: Chilcotin: Preserving Pioneer Memories by The Whitte Sisters

Operators - Tatla Region

Tatla Lake Manor
Tatla Lake
 
   
Mountains behind ranch meadow.
 
Fence around green fields protected by rolling hills.
 
Snake fence and yellow hay meadow, mountains behind.
 
Steep slopes covered in snow.
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