Brian Croft
Painting the History of Vancouver and British Columbia

223. Halfway Between Yesterday and Tomorrow

Limited Edition Watercolour Giclee Print, (unframed) sn150, ap15, pp8

14 x 21 (inches) sn $240, ap$270, pp$300

From a Watercolour by Brian Croft

A treacherous, meandering, mud-flooded, dust-coated, glorified goat track, Yale Road was a hard push no matter how you tackled it. Yet it was nothing less than a highway to our pioneers who traversed that lonely length and just about the only relief was in getting to the other end.

Luckily, right smack-dab halfway between here and there stood the prettiest little hotel, built by Billy Murray in 1887. Billy, his father and brothers had all received Crown Grants for the 160 acres on each adjacent corner to the hotel and so it happened that on this very spot a little hamlet-to-be was born, christened Murray’s Corners.

Now just in behind Murray’s Corners that cantankerous Yale road rises sharply to higher ground and so your horse or your legs, as the case may be, were likely to be too tired to climb or too shaky from the descent to continue. To cinch the deal just a few steps away were accommodations for up to twenty and a restaurant tucked away in the rear to boot! How could any weary soul pass up a night at Billy’s hotel?

More than a century later, it’s hourglass all but run, the timeworn hotel teetered un-breathing on decadent wooden foundations. The end however never arrived. In the final reckoning, it was the hotel’s own indomitable historical charm that, provided the catalyst for survival, emerging today as a lovingly restored Five Star Bed and Breakfast called “Travellers Hotel”.

My watercolour is of this special place; a place to be found late in the day nestled in a bed of sunflowers right smack-dab halfway between yesterday and tomorrow

Brian Croft