Timeline
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Gold Rush Events/World Events/Other News

1833 -As early as 1833, David Douglas, the naturalist, found gold along Lake Okanagan.

1848 -Beginning of the California Gold Rush.

1850's -Hudson's Bay Company had collected gold in small quantities from First Nations in New Caledonia.
-During the 1850's, 424,000 British and 914,000 Irish would come to America.

1851 -Sewing machine invented
-First double decker bus used in transit.
-Gold found in New South Wales, Australia.
-Sir James Douglas was appointed the second governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island.

1854 -Heinrich Goebel invents first form of electric light bulb.

1855-56 -Americans ascending the Columbia River discover gold in British territory.

1857 -News of gold on the Thompson River leaks out. By the summer of 1857, miners arrive on Fraser and Thompson Rivers from Washington and Oregon.
-Sir James Douglas, worried about the Americans claiming British territory in the Cariboo, proclaimed that people could claim mines if issued a license by him, the representative of British authority. Sir James Douglas hired policemen and drew up mining regulations to keep control over the frenzy of the Gold Rush.

1858 -Gold Rush hits British Columbia's Fraser River.
-Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie becomes one of the first officials of the new Crown Colony of British Columbia. Begbie would become B.C.'s most famous judge, often referred to as a "hanging judge." He took law and order seriously and won the respect of miners and citizens of the towns he served.
-Ottawa becomes the capital of Canada.
-B.C. is established as a Crown Colony after 37 years as a Hudson's Bay Company preserve. Sir James Douglas is made Governor of the new crown colony.

1859 -Peter Curran Dunlevey discovers gold at Little Horsefly Creek and starts the Cariboo Gold Rush.
-James Douglas authorizes the construction of a road called the Douglas Trail from the coast to the interior.
-French tight rope walker walks across Niagara Falls on a tight rope.

1860 -Prospectors find gold at Keithley Creek, one of the first gold strikes. At nearby Antler Creek , gold was so abundant that in some cases gold was so close to the surface a miner did not have to dig for it.
-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.
-Abraham Lincoln becomes US president.
-US Civil War begins.

1862 -Cariboo Gold Rush bring men and women from all over to the Cariboo.
-In May, the Royal Engineers began construction on the Cariboo Wagon Road which began in Yale and continued on through the Fraser Canyon, Lytton, the Fraser and Thompson Rivers, and finally on to Quesnel.
-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.
-Mining town of Richfield is founded and named after the rich gold claim found at Williams Creek by a miner named Bill Cunningham.

1863 -Billy Barker strikes gold on Williams Creek making him one of the most prosperous miners of the Cariboo Gold Rush.
-Barkerville is named after Billy Barker and his successful claim. Barkerville becomes the largest mining town in the Cariboo with about ten thousand residents in 1863-64.
-Camerontown is established by John "Cariboo" Cameron who needed to hire a lot of people to mine his claim on Williams Creek. His employees soon became the citizens of Camerontown

1864 -Cariboo Wagon Road reaches Barkerville.

1865 -June 17th-July 29th -unparalleled yield of gold taken off Erikson claim in Cariboo. Above $160,000 taken out in 7 weeks. (Cariboo Sentinel, 31 July 1965)
-Increase of Gold production of nearly 100%(or 1/2 million dollars) in one year. Production for June/July 1865=$950,648 Production for June/July 1864=$475,158. (Cariboo Sentinel, 31July 1865)
-Cariboo Road completed to Barkerville for over $1 million.
-Abraham Lincoln assassinated April 14.
-US Civil War ends May 26.
-Thirteenth Amendment to US Constitution ends slavery.

1866 -Two separate colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia are joined under one administration with the capital at Victoria, then the largest settlement.
-Alfred Nobel invents dynamite.

1867 -British North American Act establishes Dominion of Canada.
-Russia sells Alaska to USA for $7.2 million.
-Gold discovered in Wyoming, USA.

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.



Last updated November 30, 1998.
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