The 1860’s

"Never perhaps, was there so large an immigration in so short a space of time into so small place"

January 31, 1860

People came from all over the world. Some travelled from Scotland, England, Germany and even from China. Gold Rush brought immigrants from Hong Kong to the port of Victoria. Chinese miners worked their way up the Fraser River as white miners abandoned these sites. Many Chinese immigrants moved to the Cariboo to become miners or set up businesses such as laundries and restaurants. An estimated 6,000-7,000 Chinese immigrants had come to B.C.

Gold at Little Horsefly Creek : Start of the Cariboo Gold Rush !

May 12, 1860

There were more Canadian and British prospectors involved in the Cariboo Gold Rush of 1860-63. The commercial centre for the Cariboo rush was Barkerville, named after William Barker, an English seaman who found gold in nearby Williams Creek in 1862. By 1865 the surface placer gold was almost gone. Barkerville was practically wiped out by fire in 1868. In response to the Cariboo Gold Rush, governor James Douglas built, at great expense, a 650-km road from Yale into the rugged interior of the Cariboo Mountains. This provided an important transportation route for further development of the mainland colony.

Cariboo Gold Rush bring men and women from all over to the Cariboo

June 15, 1862

In June, Overlanders leave Fort Gary (Winnipeg) for the Cariboo. Included in this group is the famous gold rush artist, William George Richardson Hind. Catherine Schubert is the only woman of this group from Fort Garry.

Gold Rush Women

May 8, 1863

The presence of women along the trails was noted in the letters and diaries of male stampeders. In at least one instance, their presence encouraged one man to continue on. In a letter to his wife, Kitty, Fred Dewey wrote, "It is a big day's work to haul 100 pounds a distance of four miles. There are three women alone on the trail and they are taking their own stuff in. I would be ashamed to back down before difficulties that those women surmount."

Barkerville Burns Down

September 16, 1868

The town of Barkerville burns down in what became known as the Barkerville fire. Though reconstruction began the next day, the Gold Rush was dwindling.