Ashcroft, British Columbia
, is a village of 2000 people at the bend of the Thompson River
, on Highway 97c, and is one of the communities of "gold country", which includes Cache Creek
, Logan Lake
, and Spences Bridge
The current mayor of Ashcroft is Andrew Kormendy.
The town has one elementary, one secondary and one alternate school. It also has two financial institutions, a liquor store, a post office, a drug store, a Sears outlet, a hardware store, a hotel, a pub, a bakery, a mini-mall, two grocery stores, and some craft and coffee shops.
Ashcroft grew around a ranch owned by John Christopher Barnes and William Brink, and their families, including Bill Rose, and Oliver Evans, all of whom, though American, were considered founding fathers of the town. In 1883, they built the Thompson River Hotel, which became the Ashcroft Hotel when the railway came in 1885, bringing increased development; much of the village's necessary infrastructure was built in 1886.
Very much part of the gold rush, Ashcroft became home to many miners, businessmen, gamblers, adventurers, minor aristocrats, settlers, ruffians, and prostitutes. By 1887, there was another hotel, and a great many services. The Barnard Express Company was one fairly important company within Ashcroft, in that it helped to establish the transportation sector of the local economy, carrying other industries toward development. In 1895, the town began issuing a local newspaper, which was among the first in the province.
In the 1910s, Ashcroft's importance waned, and it became simply another northern village of British Columbia, growing cattle, and tomatoes and potatoes. Most of the agricultural work was done by Chinese immigrants brought up from Vancouver's lower mainland, and at one point, the population mostly of Chinese origin.
In the 1950s, the tomato industry had grown too ripe, production lessened, and the Aylmer plant was purchased by Del Monte, and then closed in 1957.
See also: John Ashcroft (Republican) - USA Attorney General, born in 1942.