Beautiful British Columbia 150 years of history

British Columbia Travel Blog

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In the spring of 1778 Captain James Cook, reached Nootka Sound and became the first known white man to set foot on British Columbian soil.

In 1787-1788 John MacKay was the first white man to live in BC-in Nootka which is on Vancouver Island.

1788 Frances Barkley, wife to Captain Charles William Barkley, was the first white woman to set foot on Vancouver Island.

1790 October 28th, the Treaty of the Nootka Convention was accepted and signed by Great Britian and spain.

1792 August 28th Captain George Vancouver reached Nootka.

1793 July 22nd, Alexander McKenzie, was the first european to complete a journey across Canada, arriving at the Pacific coast.

1808 In May Simon Fraser set out in four canoes to descend the Fraser river.

1807-1808 Geographer David Thompson is credited with having recorded the first systematic meteorological observations taken in British Columbia.

1835 Coal was discovered on Vancouver Island.

1843 Fort Victoria was established by the Hudson's Bay Company-later to become Victoria. The city of Victoria was founded by the Hudson's Bay Company as a trading post and fort at the location the native Indians called CAMOSACK meaning RUSH OF WATER.  Anticipating that under the Oregon Treaty, then being drawn up, the 49th Parallel would be chosen as the International boundary line, the Hudson's Bay Company moved it's fort from Vancouver on the Columbia river to the Southern end of Vancouver Island.

  It was named Fort Victoria after the great British Queen.

1849 Vancouver Island was proclaimed a Crown Colony.

1850 Gold quartz was discovered at Mitchell's Harbour on the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands.

1852 Queen Charlotte Islands became a dependency of the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island.

1857 Gold was discovered in the sandbars of the lower Fraser River. The gold rushes of the following 8 years bought approx. 25,000 prospectors from around the world to the mainland.

1858 November 19th, the colony of British Columbia was formed at a ceremony in Fort Langley.

1859 New Westminister became the capital of British Columbia.

1866 August - an imperial act was passed, uniting Vancouver Island and British Columbia, formerly seperate colonies, with New Westminister as capital. The Rocky Mountains were designated ad BC's eastern boundary, following the Continental Divide.

1868 April 2 - Victoria was named Capital of British Columbia.

1871 July 20 - British Columbia became the 6th province of the Dominion of Canada.

1872 Three german judges, at the request of Britian and the US, settled boundary dispute in the Strait of Georgia by ruling San Juan Islands as US territory.

1903 The boundary between BC and Alaska was established.

The modern history of British Columbia begins with the First Nations people who have lived on the lush natural resources of these lands, since some time after the end of the last ice age.

As recently as 220 years ago the northwest coast of North America was one of the least explored areas in the world.

The three prominent First Nations groups of the Pacific Northwest are the Nootka, the Coast Salish, and Kwakwala Speaking Peoples.  The Carrier nation roamed the interior valleys, the Tsimshians the northern coast, and the Tlingits occupied souther Alaska and norther British Columbia.

The Sekani and Beaver the eastern region while the Haida lived on the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Gold was being found in the Peace River in 1861. The Cariboo Wagon Road was constructed from the town of Yale to the boomtown of Barkerville, which in it's hey day ws the largest city west of Chicago and north of San Francisco. Finished in 1865, the road opened up the BC interior, with mule trains and stagecoaches following the route. Roadhouses and boomtowns dotting the roadside. Gold was also discovered further north, placing Dawson Creek on the brink of the huge Klondike Gold Rush of 1898.

The mining industry, railway, and the geology of the land have contributed to the history of BC. natural features, such as an abundance of hot springs in the BC rockies, have been responsible for growth of many resort towns.

Where the heck am I?

The fur and salmon trade brought great prosperity of the first Nations People.  Settlers introduced muskets, alcohol and smallpox, all of which had a devastating effect on the native people. Christian missionaries arrived and set about banning native's traditional potlatches and suppressing their languages and culture.  Colonization and land ownership confilcts soon followed...and some continuing to this very day.


Enigmaa says:
BC seems like such a nice place to live! On the top of my places I would love to live and work! Good entry Bevy! :)
Posted on: Jun 14, 2011
Tinavoyage says:
Sooooooooooooo interesting - thanks for sharing Bev!!
Posted on: Jan 22, 2011
Koralifix says:
Nicely written entry!
Posted on: Jun 27, 2009
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British Columbia
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