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Roads ready,rocked and oiled – 200 autos coming to the Pacific Highway Association convention – Vancouver BC – 1913

October 27, 2014

In July 1913, there was a flurry of road-making activity in British Columbia in preparation for the Pacific Highway Association meeting to convene in Vancouver the second week of August. The road superintendent was "making an added effort to get the roads in the best possible shape," paying particular attention to the route of the Pacific Highway along the Yale road to Clayton and thence south to Blaine.

Such infrastructure improvements are nowadays the byproduct of major events such as the Olympic Games, but a hundred years ago interest in good roads was at a peak. Earlier in the year, the Colonist newspaper of Victoria had devoted an astounding seven full pages of reports on the annual meeting of the provincial road superintendents.

At the end of July the local works crews had completed their work with some satisfaction. The following report reads like an announcement in one of those newsreel hi-lite films of yesteryear.

 

"One week from tomorrow 200 automobiles will cross the American boundary and traverse the Pacific highway to New Westminster, filled with members of the automobile clubs of Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham and Everett and delegates to the annual Pacific Highway convention which will assemble in Vancouver the following day.

On that day, the highway will be open from the border to the Fraser bridge, portions of it never travelled by visitors from the other side of the line. . .

For most of the twenty miles followed by the hour’s long procession of autos through Surrey will be over completed highway in such a perfect condition that it will prove amazing to the autoists who will have just traversed a hundred miles of road but little better than dirt and puncheon through Northwest Washington. Most of the way the road will be rocked and oiled. . ."

 


The procession of automobiles stopped at Blaine customs.

The caption on the newspaper photo indicates this is the customs line-up at Blaine.  The road looks like it could be the Coast Meridian just across the line, heading north.

Pacific Highway border customs line up - Blaine -  1913

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