Early American Influence
One of the first non-indigenous travelers to explore Whistler was American William Downie, who came north after the California gold rush in 1858. Texas-born John Millar, who had quite the checkered past, was one of the first to settle down here in 1911, supporting himself with trapping and a “stopping house” in an area of town now known as Function Junction.
That same year, Millar lured Alex and Myrtle Philip to Whistler—also Americans—with big stories about angling in Whistler lakes.
From the state of Maine, the Philips had dreams of opening up a fishing lodge, so they took Millar's bait and travelled 3 days (one by steamship to Squamish and two by horseback on the Pemberton Trail) to get to Whistler.
In 1913, they purchased 10 acres on Alta Lake for $700. Soon after, their friends, the Tapleys—also from Maine—came out to help with construction. By 1914, Rainbow Lodge was completed and their dream was realized.
And the fishing fever continues in Whistler today, as the photos reveal...
Are you an American who’d like to share in this history? If so, Gina can help you manifest your Whistler dream, just like the Phillips did a century ago.