Agassiz (pronounced Aga-a-cee) is part of Kent, and the town is being revitalized on a turn-of-the-century architectural theme. The two main streets of the village make for a very pleasant stroll and shopping. The Aberdeen has visitor information and provides public washrooms in summer season.
Captain Lewis Nunn Agassiz, who served in the Royal Welsh Engineers and then was a Cariboo Gold Rush prospector, settled in the area in 1867, and soon added the first store and post office. The fertile land grew hops, corn and as used for dairy farming. When the Canadian Pacific Railway was constructed in 1885, the local station was named “Agassiz.” In 1888, the Aberdeen Hotel was built, and was named after Lord and Lady Aberdeen of Scotland, after their stay at the hotel. In 1895, the area of Harrison Mills, to the east of the Harrison River, became a municipality, and was settled by many Englishmen who likened the hops growing area to Kent County, England.
In 1901 the Agassiz-Rosedale Ferry established links across the Fraser River, and the area began to grow. In 1928 the population topped 1300. In 1948, the second largest flood of the century connected Harrison Lake with the Fraser River and flooded most of the town sites. After the flood of 1948, the area shifted from hops (used for beer manufacture) to corn, and Agassiz soon became known as the “Corn Capital of BC.” The next year, the Village of Harrison Hot Springs was incorporated at the foot of Harrison Lake.
Agassiz-Harrison Hot Springs Festivals
|Seabird Island Festival||End of May||A weekend of war canoe races featuring the 11-man paddle and other sporting events, including soccer mixed two-pitch, and ball hockey. A traditional salmon BBQ is also part of the event, and a wide variety of arts and crafts vendors will be on hand. Seabird Island Band, Agassiz (604) 796-2177.|
|Agassiz Fall Fair & Corn Festival||Mid September||Watch for fields of long rows of corn during the summer.
Agricultural Canada Pacific Research Station, on Scenic 7. 796-3246
Agassiz-Harrison Hot Springs Attractions
PO Box 313, 6947 Lougheed Highway, Agassiz, BC V0M 1A0
Just inside the Agricultural Canada Pacific Research Station on Scenic 7
The museum is housed in the CPR station that was built in 1893, but was recently moved across the tracks to its present location. The Research Station opened in 1893 in ‘the Stone Barn,’ and has been keeping area weather records ever since. The museum has a collection of historical artifacts and memorabilia of Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and the Harrison Lake area, and has a gift shop. Open May 24 long-weekend until mid-September. Open 7 days a week, 10 am until 4 pm. No charge, donations accepted.
Hatzic Rock Historical Site
Through Clayburn, right on Hwy 11, cross Fraser River, eastbound Hwy 7 to junction Dewdney Trunk Road – east into Hatzic. Past the Dewdney Trunk Road, there is a dirt road to left, turn onto it and drive beside the field to the Xá:Yem Longhouse Interpretive Centre and ‘the Hatzic Rock.”
The Hatzic Rock is a large boulder, left by the glaciers that once covered the area when they melted thousands of years ago. For centuries, people of the Sto:lo First Nation used this spiritual site as a home. The Sto:lo natives believe that this is a ‘transformer site’ where three chiefs were turned to stone for not teaching their people the written language that Xexa:ls, the Creator, had given them.
There is an archaeological dig of a pit house, discovered in 1990, believed to be the oldest remains of a dwelling in BC. Items from the dig date back as far as 9000 years ago. Guides offer a tour of the site. The interpretive centre is open from 10 am to 4 pm.
Hatzic Lake Turnoff
The owner, Laszlo Tamas, used to make and sell full-size replicas of old wagons, and later began making miniatures of European and North American wagons. There are over 100 of these functional miniatures on display in a building in his yard. They represent a history of transportation before modern vehicles took over.
Agassiz Motocross Track
Between Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs off route #9 North.
The Agassiz track has been in operation for over 25 yrs, and is challenging for riders while keeping spectator safety in mind. With lap times over 2 minutes it is one of the bigger tracks in Canada.
Agassiz-Harrison Hot Springs Parkss
Here are the more popular parks in Aggazis & Harrison Hot Springs, from north to south (see other area parks):
Highway 7, Aggazis
Set in a natural bowl of hills rising over 1300 m. Reforested and reseeded with bright alpine flowers, the valley offers beautiful scenery with panoramic view of Mt. Baker to the south and Mt. Garibaldi to the north. Ideal for horseback riding or hiking of nature trails to alpine meadows, canoeing on lake or river, catching cutthroat in nearby lakes or steelhead in Chehalis River.
Sasquatch Provincial Park/ Rainbow Falls
On your way into Harrison Hot Springs, turn right onto Lillooet Avenue. Turn left at the t-intersection, and continue around the lake. After 6 km, you reach 1,206 hectare Sasquatch Provincial Park.
Green Point day-use Area has a boat launch. Deer and Hicks lakes are good for fishing. The road to Rainbow Falls has pull-outs for great views of Harrison Lake and its islands. The dramatic four-part falls are on Slollicum Creek, which drains Slollicum Lake, back in the mountains. The park road follows Big Silver creek northwards, branches to the northeast to reach Frances Lake and the Nahatlatch River..This road is great for 4-whell driving.