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Van Winkle



BC Archives: A-00557
(BC Archives: A-00557)
Camerontown is named after miner John Angus Cameron. Originally from Ontario, Cameron and his young family sailed around Cape Horn to Victoria in 1862. Arriving broke, a friend had to help provide Cameron with the neccessary provisions.

John Cameron
Cameron then made his way to the Cariboo. Here in a story by Robert Stevenson, we learn how Cameron struck it rich.

"In July I sold out my business on Antler Creek and went to Williams Creek to get into what became known as the Cameron claim. Dr. Crane told me of the ground being vacant, and wanted me to go with him that night and stake it off. I told him I had a few friends I would like to take in with us. So I organized a company as follows: J. A. Cameron, Sophia Cameron, Robert Stevenson, Alan McDonald, Richard Rivers, and Charles and James Clendenning. I had to wait a day and a half on Cameron to come with us to stake the claim. Cameron was nearly not coming that morning to stake the claim, as he had a prejudice against doing so on a Friday, as he thought it was unluckly."

"When staking, Cameron and I disagreed and quarrelled over the location, and if he had followed my advice the claim, instead of paying one million dollars, would have paid double that amount.
Cameron Claim
he would insist on single claims on the left bank of the creek and I wished to stake two claims abreast on the right bank. If my advice had been followed the Tinker claim would not have been heard of and it paid nearly as well as the Cameron."

"After staking the claim we sat down to name it. This was August 22, 1862. Dr.Crane proposed that it should be called the Stevenson because I had got up the company. I objected to this and asked the privilege of calling it the Cameron claim, and so it was called."

Camerontown was christened in August 1864 by Rev. Ephraim Evans, with Judge Peter O'Reilly, Judge Cox, and Judge Matthew Begbie present.

Barkerville Van Winkle

Last updated December 1st, 1998.
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