153 Mile Store caretaker Amber Stratton looks at an old photograph of her family outside the store dressed in some of its clothing while preparing to tour guests in the 1980s.

153 Mile Store caretaker Amber Stratton looks at an old photograph of her family outside the store dressed in some of its clothing while preparing to tour guests in the 1980s.

EDITORIAL: A historic gift

Our community received much attention this week with the news of the Patenaude family’s intention to donate the 153 Mile Store.

Our community received much attention this week with the news of the Patenaude family’s intention to donate the 153 Mile Store and its priceless contents to the City of Williams Lake.

The historic store and roadhouse are located on the 153 Mile Ranch near 150 Mile House and was originally used as a stopping place during the Cariboo Gold Rush many years ago.

Walking into the building today is like taking a trip back in time.

Amber Stratton, a third generation Patenaude, said she was lucky enough to grow up with the store literally in her backyard and today serves as the unofficial caretaker and tour guide for school groups and the odd meandering tourist who stops in.

“I grew up playing in the store and I still find things in here I haven’t seen,” Amber said, graciously opening the door to the old log building for us to have a peek.

Behind the counter sits a museum-quality display in memory of Lil Crosina who was the heart of the store, surrounded by hundreds of items that were for sale the day the store closed its doors in 1963.

The Patenaude family inherited the rare piece of history when they purchased the ranch from the Crosinas three generations ago and their appreciation and respect for the contents are still strongly felt today.

In a day and age when there are countless websites available to sell our wares to the highest bidder, we suppose many find it remarkable that a family would be so generous.

But, after being given a glimpse into their kind, sharing nature through family members Amber and Bayley, it’s easy to see why they want to preserve such an important piece of B.C.’s history.

Now let’s hope the City of Williams Lake can make their request a reality.

– Williams Lake Tribune

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The city of Williams Lake will help fund a position at Canadian Mental Health Association Cariboo Chilcotin Branch for mental health programs using some of the COVID safe restart grant the city received from the province. (City of Williams Lake photo)
City of Williams Lake allocates 35K to support mental health programs

The funding for CMHA coming from the COVID Safe Restart grant the city received

Speed reader data collected between March 1 and April 28, 2021 indicated 94.68 per cent of vehicles traveling through kept below or to the 50 km hour speed limit. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
City council agrees further speed restrictions not warranted for Westridge area of Williams Lake

Staff bases decision on speed reader data collected over six-week period

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson speaking in the legislature Monday, May 10. (Video screen shot)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA calls for rural infrastructure renewal fund

Lorne Doerkson said central parts of rural B.C. devastated by flooding, crumbling infrastructure

(File photo)
Firearms offence at McLeese Lake tree planting camp under RCMP investigation

On May 10 Williams Lake RCMP were called to the camp, located at the 2200 block of Beaver Lake Rd.

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation into the conduct of Mounties on Vancouver Island after two police shootings of members of a small First Nations community in three months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Indigenous leaders call for clarity, investigation into RCMP after B.C. shooting

The RCMP declined to comment on the requests by Indigenous leaders

Colleen Price, Vancouver Island University’s bachelor of science in nursing program chairperson, says she is impressed with how students have persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Next generation of B.C. nurses already showing resilience

University program head says learning had to be adjusted amidst pandemic

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old B.C. bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Most Read