Meet Two Great Rivers
Located at the confluence of the Fraser River and its largest tributary, the Thompson River, visitors to Lytton will experience soaring summer temperatures and awe-inspiring canyon backdrops. Lytton is an outdoor lover’s paradise.
MAP OF THE CITY
This area was originally known as “Kumsheen” or “Camchin” in the local Nlaka’pamux language, meaning “where the rivers meet”. The Interior Salish First Nations people, including the Lytton First Nation
, Siska, Skuppah, Kanaka Bar and Nicomen Indian Band, have lived on the banks of these rivers for about 10,000 years.
In 1858, gold was discovered in the Nicomen River (ten miles north-east of Lytton, which was known at that time as “The Forks”). The population of the area was flooded overnight with prospectors and miners determined to discover the precious stone. In the same year, Lytton was renamed after the British Colonial Secretary, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Bulwer-Lytton was a bestselling novelist of his time, whose literary claims to fame include the coining of the phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword”.
Things to Do
The Lytton Museum & Archives (Fraser Street)
The Lytton Museum & Archives occupy a former Canadian National Railway residence built in 1942. The museum has an impressive collection of local historical artifacts, including over 2,000 photos illustrating the history of the area. Keep an eye out for the original gold scales from the general store, a canon ball found in the Thompson River Canyon and a 140 year-old Chinese tapestry. The museum is open from June to September. Open by request the rest of the year or when volunteers are working in the museum. Ph: (250)455-2254 Email: email@example.com
Visitor Info Centre (400 Fraser Street)
Brochures and historical walking tour pamphlets are available here. The friendly staff are always happy to help visitors with directions or suggestions on things to see and do in the area. The Visitor Info Centre is open every day from June to September, with limited opening hours during the winter.
Lytton Chinese Historical Museum (145 Main Street)
This museum is a reconstruction of the Chinese Temple that was originally a place of religion in 1881. Although not a functioning temple today, this new building has kept the religious significance of the earlier temple and includes an altar and area for study and mediation. Spend a morning or afternoon viewing the collections inside, linger over the glass cabinets filled with artifacts from the CPR Railway camps, feel the hard work the weathered gold mining equipment exudes, and study the historical photos to catch a glimpse of the past.
Caboose Park (near the Visitor Info Centre)
This is a must-see for railway enthusiasts. Inside the caboose is a model railway layout of the rail lines running from Siska to Lytton, including famous bridges. Visitors can also view fascinating railway memorabilia and photographs.
Lytton Jelly Roll (a profile is mounted on a wall in Caboose Park)
This large sand and silt structure represents a fascinating geological discovery that was uncovered in a gravel pit south of Lytton. This rolled layer of silt encased in coarser sands and gravel was formed in the last glaciation 11,000 to 25,000 years ago. The Lytton Jelly Roll is rare because of its size; usually measured in centimetres, this one measures in meters and is one of the largest, if not the largest, formation of its type in the world!
MORE THINGS TO DO +
Lytton has some great eateries to choose from. On Main Street in the town centre there are several popular locations, including the Lyl’ Towne Deli & Sandwich Shop, and Lytton Hotel Restaurant. Jade Springs Restaurant (Hwy #1) is well known for its Chinese menu. If you’re looking for something special on a summer evening, try The Cutting Board Restaurant at Kumsheen Rafting Resort (open mid-June to mid-September).
FULL LIST OF DINING OPTIONS
During the May long weekend, Lytton gets into festival mode. There is something for everyone; activities include a street dance, slo-pitch ball tournament, crowning of the Lytton Mayday Queen, a parade and a street market.
The Lytton River Festival
The Lytton River Festival is held annually during Labour Day weekend to celebrate the historical and contemporary significance of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers to Lytton. The fun filled three-day schedule includes music and entertainment performances, an interpretive hike, a Pow Wow and displays of local artisans’ work.
Nlaka’pamux Remembrance Day Pow Wow
This event takes place in November to commemorate veterans and is a great opportunity to experience an aspect of First Nations culture.
UPCOMING EVENTS IN LYTTON
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