Catherine O'Hare Schubert
Catherine O'Hare was the first European woman to enter British Columbia overland from eastern Canada. She was the youngest of nine children born in Ireland in 1835.
At the age of sixteen, she sailed to the United States and worked as a maid for a wealthy family in Springfield, Massachusetts. She used her spare time teaching herself to read.
When Catherine was nineteen, she met a twenty-seven year old German carpenter named Augustus Schubert. Catherine married Augustus in 1855 and they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota on the Mississippi River.
Catherine opened a grocery store and made bread while Augustus worked as a carpenter. Their son Gus was born in 1856 and their daughter Mary Jane in 1858.
A depression hit the area and the family packed up and moved to Fort Garry (Winnipeg), Manitoba District.
In 1858, miners had discovered gold dust and nuggets in the lower Fraser Valley, in what is now the province of British Columbia.
On May 26, 1862, 150 men arrived by paddle-steamer at Fort Garry determined to follow the "overland" route to the Cariboo.
The Overlanders, as they came to be known, consisted of fifteen smaller groups of gold-seekers who had met as they travelled west.
Catherine's husband, Augustus, decided to join the Overlanders and go search for gold in the Cariboo. Catherine chose to accompany her husband on the trip west as she had no intention of being left behind at Fort Garry to run their farm and store... And look after their three small children.
Catherine was four months pregnant when she and her husband began their overland trek across the prairies and the Rocky Mountains with three children ages 5, 3, and 1.
After many hardships and terrifying adventures the Schuberts finally arrived in British Columbia. The family decided to travel down the Thompson River rather than the treacherous Fraser River.
Still floating down the Thompson River, Catherine went into labour on the raft. Ashore, Catherine was taken care of by the First Nations women at a local village where she gave birth to a healthy baby girl, whom she named Rose.
Catherine supported the family while her husband unsuccessfully prospected for gold in Quesnel. In 1881, Augustus decided to give up his gold-hunting days and the Schuberts bought a farm in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley.
Augustus died in 1908 and Catherine moved into nearby Armstrong, British Columbia. She remained an important part of the community until her death on July 18th, 1918.