Fraser River - Cariboo Road
Gold seekers open the interior of British Columbia
Gold was discovered on the lower Fraser in 1858. The news soon spread and a
gold rush was underway.
Thousands of miners, mostly Americans from the now exhausted goldfields of
California, made the trip 250 kilometres upriver to the first big strike at
They travelled by canoe, sailboat, and raft. As time went on, more gold deposits
were discovered, and a string of mining communities grew up along the Fraser.
Prospectors fanned out eastward and there were smaller 'rushes' for the next
The British authorities in Victoria were suddenly faced with the problem of
trying to maintain law and order in a part of the world to which they had weak
Governor Douglas decided to establish British authority. He claimed the area
for Britain, drew up mining rules and regulations, sold licences to the miners,
hired police officers, and sent circuit judges around to all the mining communities.
Douglas also built a road into the Cariboo region alongside the Fraser River,
from Yale in south, north to Quesnel and Barkerville. This road effectively
opened up the interior of British Columbia.
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