The Capilano Suspension Bridge, originally built-in 1889, is a simple suspension bridge crossing the Capilano River in the District of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The bridge is 140 meters (460 ft.) long and 70 meters (230 ft.) above the river ( ooooo.. quite shivering :p ). It is part of a private facility, with an admission fee, and draws over 800,000 visitors a year as there are so many things around to see.
This simple suspension footbridge is surrounded by an evergreen forest and is very high, fairly narrow, and extremely shaky—the cedar planks bounce on their steel cables as you walk across them. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of the top attractions in Vancouver.
HISTORY OF Capilano Suspension Bridge
In 1888, George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer and land developer, arrived in the young city of Vancouver in Canada. Mackay purchased 6,000 acres of dense forest on either side of Capilano River and built a cabin on the very edge of the canyon wall. In 1889, he suspended a footbridge made of hemp rope and cedar planks across the canyon with the help of August Jack Khahtsahlano and a team of horses who swam the ropes across the river. The ropes were then pulled up the other side and anchored to huge buried cedar logs.
Edward Mahon arrived in Vancouver in 1888 and began mining operations in the Nelson-Slocan area, naming the camp Castlegar after his ancestral home in Ireland. Returning to Vancouver, he purchased and developed land and businesses on the North Shore, among them Capilano Suspension Bridge. In 1910, 48-year-old Mahon met and fell in love with Lilette, the 19-year-old daughter of his deceased friend, James Rebbeck. He arranged for Lilette’s mother, Elizabeth to manage his bridge property. The plan worked – he married Lilette a year later. Mahon built the Tea House in 1911 and continued to improve the Capilano Suspension Bridge property, reinforcing the bridge with additional cables in 1914
Elizabeth was lonely after Lilette married, until she met a handsome young forest ranger, “Mac” MacEachran, who was 20 years her junior. they married in 1921.
In 1934, Mac announced to Elizabeth that he had a 19-year-old daughter, Irene, whom he wished to bring to Capilano. Arrangements were made to build a new and larger house across the street from the bridge but sadly, Elizabeth died. Mac purchased the Bridge from Mahon in 1935 and invited local First Nations to place their totem poles in the park. In 1945, he sold the bridge to Henri Aubeneau and moved to California.
In 1953, Rae Mitchell purchased the bridge property from Henri Aubeneau and aggressively promoted his attraction worldwide. He completely rebuilt the bridge in 5 days in 1956, encasing the cables in 13 tons of concrete at either end. He developed the trails on the west side of the bridge and converted the Tea House into the Trading Post Gift Store.
Nancy Stibbard purchased Capilano Suspension Bridge in 1983 from her father Rae Mitchell. Her goal, to elevate the park from a mere stop-off to a destination attraction, was realized in less than ten years. Nancy’s success has resulted in expansion to other popular visitor destinations: Moraine Lake Lodge (hotel, restaurant, retail) in Banff National Park, Alberta and Cathedral Mountain Lodge (hotel, restaurant, retail) in Yoho National Park, BC. Once involved in the management and operation of her own business, Nancy recognized the need to serve and advance tourism in the province. Nancy’s success has included induction into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame in 2007.
So, if you are looking for some “beautiful adventure”, then this is really a right place for you.
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