Mission, BC: The First Canadian Train Robbery

One of the appeals of owning property in a particular location isn’t just about what it may evolve into in the future, but also the connections it may have to the past. Owners take pride in their street, town and community, keeping history alive in a variety of ways.

The latest property addy is offering to members is in Mission, B.C. – it’s actually the second drop of a plan that was offered last summer. A new timetable and return has been forecasted, making this investment distinct from the previous opportunity.

What’s more, though, as part of the beautiful Fraser Valley region, Mission is a special place that continues to honour its heritage and history, particularly its ties to industry and railway. One thing Mission is noted for: it was the site of the first train robbery in Canadian history. Or so the story goes….

Bill Miner and the Great Canadian Train Robbery

The first Canadian train robbery is often credited to Bill Miner in 1904, when he and his group of bandits boarded a Canadian Pacific Railway car near Mission that was heading westbound to Vancouver. According to an account from Nat Scott, the train engineer, about five kilometers west of Mission proper on September 10 at 9pm, he was tapped from behind. It was Bill Miner, holding a gun. Miner proceeded to give him succinct instructions on what was going to happen next.

Scott was told to slow down when approaching the Silverdale bridge. Miner and his crew looted the train, taking about $6,000 worth of gold dust along with some other valuables. They told the engineer to uncouple the passengers’ cars around the area today known as Jamieson Creek, where McLean street runs across the rail tracks.

The engine then rumbled towards Whonnock, about 10 kilometers east of Mission along the Fraser River. Miner and company hopped off, acquired a boat, traveled across the river and disappeared. The engine returned to the passengers’ cars; no one was hurt, and the train eventually arrived in Vancouver late at night.

Who is Bill Miner?

Like most outlaws from his time, the answer to the question, ‘who is Bill Miner?’ seems to mix fact and fiction together into some semi-truthful folklore. He’s an outlaw and robber, but his reputation for politeness and calm amid such holdups earned him the nickname ‘The Gentleman Bandit.” I guess even Canadian train robbers are nice!

He’s also credited with coining the phrase, “hands up!”

Miner’s foray into robbing Canadian trains followed years of experience robbing American ones in California. He spent time in jail, and upon a release in 1902, headed north for more opportunities.


Miner went to the well too many times. In 1906, an attempt on another CPR, this one near present-day Monte Creek about 25 km east of Kamloops, was botched. That led to a massive manhunt to apprehend Miner and his associates, who by this time was already infamous on both sides of the border. The search included Canadian and American forces, as well as cowboys and indigenous trackers.

He was arrested, tried and jailed, but eventually broke out of prison in 1907, and fled back to the U.S. He didn’t stop his robbery ways, but stories around him made him something of a legend, and to some, a folk hero. Today, you may find his picture or newspaper clippings around local restaurants and bars in the Fraser Valley region. He was the subject of the 1982 Canadian film, “The Grey Fox,” which referred to another of his nicknames. There’s also stories that some of his loot may still be buried around the Fraser Valley.

The tales around him paint him as a Robin Hood figure. According to one famous anecdote, a man at the time said,  “Oh, Bill Miner’s not so bad. He only takes the CPR once every two years. CPR robs us all every day.”

addy in Mission

One of the appeals of the latest property is that the development looks to honour the past of Mission, with aesthetics and architecture that reflect the city’s industrial early years. Mission was a major railway town, and the Maple View Heights Apartments seeks to emulate the brick-clad heritage buildings that still exist downtown.

It’s just one of the reasons to get excited about investing in this latest opportunity.

If you’re interested in joining the crowdfunding real estate cause, now is the time to join:

4 thoughts on “Mission, BC: The First Canadian Train Robbery

  1. Dave Davis says:

    I totally missed the Sherbrooke one, no it looks like this one is on the block but neither showed in properties for sale. How am I supposed to guess when it’s on the block?

    • Stephen Jagger says:

      We announce properties on this blog, Youtube, our Discord server, email and social media. Sorry you missed the Montreal Hotel but don’t worry, we have lots more coming. Join Discord – 600+ of our members in there chatting about the upcoming properties already.

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