Merritt, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 50° 06.764 W 120° 47.316
10U E 658106 N 5553506
With the first Europeans settling in the Merritt area in the 1850s, the city has slowly grown to a population of about 8,000 by the 21st century.
Waymark Code: WMNE4V
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 02/25/2015
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 1

First known as "Forksdale", referring to the confluence of the Nicola and Coldwater Rivers, the present city was first surveyed in 1893, taking land from three large ranches which converged there. The sole industry at that time was cattle ranching but coal was soon discovered nearby, leading to coal mining's becoming an important secondary industry for a time.

The presence of the coal induced the Canadian Pacific Railway to extend its line to Forksdale. The name "Forksdale" was never popular with the locals and in 1906 it was changed to Merritt, in honour of William Hamilton Merritt III, a mining engineer and railway promoter. By 1907, with the completion of the railway and the coal mines in operation, Merritt quickly became the commercial and residential centre of the Nicola Valley. Though coal mining remained a viable industry in the area for a relatively short time, its place in the economics of the region was taken by forestry, which today has become the largest employer in the town.

The town grew quickly and on April 1, 1911 Merritt was granted its city charter. The next year, in 1912, Merritt had its first city hall, which also included police station, jail and fire hall. As the town grew it named its streets after its pioneering residents, names such as Charters, Chapman, Cleasby, Garcia, Voght, Coutlee, Nicola, Granite, and Quilchena. The present city hall is a relatively new building, but how long the city has occupied the premises we do not know.

Merritt has, in recent years, become a Mecca for country music, hosting annual music festivals. In connection with the festivals the city has created a Walk of Stars in the downtown area and is home to the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Alongside the Walk of Stars one will also find a series of murals of country music idols dating from the beginning of Country to the present.

Name: City Hall

2185 Voght Street
Merritt, BC Canada
V1K 1B8

Date of Construction: Unknown

Architect: Unknown

Web Site for City/Town/Municipality: [Web Link]

Memorials/Commemorations/Dedications: Not listed

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