Home to the famous Williams Lake Stampede, rated second only to the Calgary Stampede, where pros and amateurs come from all over the country and even as far as parts of the US to compete yearly.
The stampede grounds are in the heart of the town, with the industrial, commercial and a modern sawmill surrounding it.
Williams Lake has welcomed tourism with open arms with the building of an incredible 14,000 square foot Tourism Discover Centre that is just off Highway 97 South as you enter town.
This Centre shares with visitors information about the First Nations history, Pioneer days and western cultures from the past as well as what is new and happening today in Williams Lake.
Here is a bit of history about the city: The first people living in Williams Lake long before it was so named were the Secwepemac, English translation "Shuswap" people.
They still have a big presence in the area that is embedded in their long and rich history that is evident around the city.
Being semi-nomadic people they would return every winter to their permanent villages.
Williams Lake was known by these Indians as Columneetza, the meeting place.
The Xats'ull Heritage Village offers visitors a chance to come and experience the Shuswap cultural, spiritual and traditional ways, whether just day trips or all-inclusive longer stays.
Later on European fur traders started to come and settled here about the same time that thousands of the prospectors and miners came in 1858 during the Cariboo Gold Rush.
If you get a chance to visit this area make sure to take a tour with Cariboo Chilcotin Jet Boat Adventures, because they offer an amazing cultural tour on the Fraser River that includes some First Nations historical sites and Chinese gold mining sites.
It isn't known for sure how Williams Lake came to be named.
The more widely accepted and popular story is that it was named after the Secwepemc Chief Will Yum.
He was respected and is remembered as being wise and peaceful during the 1800s during the mass arrival of white people hungry for gold.
He kept his people from rising up and joining the Chilcotin Indians who were fighting against the settlers.
The other story is that it is named after Constable William Pinchback who was sent from Victoria to keep the peace during the Gold Rush.
It is also believed that Pinchback married the daughter of Chief Will Yum.
Williams Lake is the last major stop off before entering the Chilcotin Plateau that ends with Bella Coola Valley, a community for a later day.
If you come to this city as just passing through, a few days then check out http://www.
htm for things to do, place to stay and where to go...
you will not be bored in this city.
There is something for everyone of all ages.
Until next time, Happy Travels!