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1858 Gold Rush - British Columbia

There were several gold finds in British Columbia in the 1850s, but the largest and most important discoveries were made in the sand bars along the Fraser River. When the first consignment of Fraser River gold reached San Francisco on April 3, 1858, the Fraser River Gold Rush was on. Tens of thousands of people flocked to the area, increasing the population of Victoria from 500 to more than 5,000 people; thousands more moved to the mainland.

Almost overnight, gold prospecting eclipsed the fur trade as the major industry in the region. In 1858 Britain formalized its hold on the coast by establishing the colony of British Columbia, sometimes known as the "gold colony". The economic boom lasted into the early 1860s, when British Columbia and Vancouver Island lapsed into a recession.


Anstey, Arthur ; Sutherland, Neil. -- British Columbia : a short history. -- Toronto : W. J. Gage Ltd., 1957. -- 55 p.

Marshall, Daniel P. -- "Fraser River Gold Rush". -- Canadian encyclopedia : year 2000 edition. -- Ed. James H. Marsh. -- 3rd print ed. -- Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 1999. -- P. 916

Ormsby, Margaret. -- British Columbia : a history. -- Rev. ed. -- Vancouver : Macmillan of Canada, 1971. -- 566 p.

Woodcock, George. -- British Columbia : a history of the province. -- Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre, 1990. -- 288 p.