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Surrey (B.C.), Heritage House, 1987. 94pp, paper, $6.95. ISBN 0-919214-90-8. CIP

Grades 7 and up
Reviewed by Jerry McDonnell

Volume 16 Number 2
1988 March

Most Canadian students know a little about Barkerville and the Cariboo gold rush. They have heard of the famous Cariboo road but do not know any details about these phenomena. This little book does an admirable job of filling in the gaps and breathing life into the story.

The first six chapters are excerpted from British Columbia-Historical Volume Two, published in 1914. The authors were Judge F.W. Howay and Provincial Archivist E.O.S, Scholefield. Howay was a native of B.C. and his career as a judge and author led to a term as chairman of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and one as president of the Canadian Historical Society. Scholefield was provincial librarian for fourteen years and collected much material on northwestern history. Several of the paintings reproduced are by William G.R, Hind.

The first section of the book tells the story of the discovery of gold on the Fraser River and the eventual push to Cariboo country. In 1858, the first summer, there were 30,000 miners on the river and virtually no transportation. Before long, the fledgling colony had to undertake the building of a wagon road and the first large suspension bridge in the west.

The last section of the book tells the story of Viscount Milton and Dr. Cheadle—two British "tourists" who spent a year travelling overland from Canada to the Pacific and who spent time in the mining country in 1863. Cheadle's journal was published and was extremely popular in Britain. The excerpts reprinted here give an excellent account of the lives of the Cariboo miners.

This little book is a very good source of material on the Cariboo gold rush and the early days of the colony of British Columbia. The many historical and modern illustrations consist of maps, paintings, photographs and sketches. This is an excellent source for students of Canadian history from grade 7 to the end of high school. Some explanation of the various methods of mining would have been useful but can be obtained elsewhere.

Highly recommended.

Jerry McDonnell, F. E. Madill Secondary School, Wingham, Ont.
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