Gold Rush - Fairview, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 10.453 W 119° 35.999
11U E 310504 N 5450077
Quick Description: The Gold Rush historical marker is located on a four sided kiosk at the old townsite of Fairview, approximately 4.5 km southwest of city hall in Oliver.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 10/12/2021 8:53:54 PM
Waymark Code: WM1543N
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member wayfrog
Views: 0

Long Description:
Fairview burst into existence, flourished and died as quickly as most other gold rush towns of the time. One of the largest and most elegant hotels of the era, the Fairview Grand Hotel (nicknamed "the Big Tee-Pee) was built and burned in just five short years. It was never rebuilt and its demise sounded the death knell for the town, as the gold diggings were already beginning to play out when it burned.

Essentially nothing remains of Fairview except several historical markers. As well as a Province of British Columbia heritage marker, at the townsite one will find this kiosk, with several markers outlining the history of Fairview, nearby towns and, this one, gold rushes which helped to open and settle the BC Interior.

The site of the Presbyterian Church has been marked, but is otherwise indistinguishable from the surroundings. Constructed at Fairview in 1899, it was moved to Okanagan Falls in 1929 and is affectionately known as The Blasted Church for the method in which it was disassembled for transport (Hint - dynamite was involved). The wooden Fairview Jail, the last remnant of Fairview, was moved to the Oliver Museum in 1981.
Gold Rush
News of a gold strike at ROCK CREEK, blazoned by United States’ newspapers in 1859, brought 500 placer miners swarming into the formerly quiet place and a government officer, W.G. Cox, followed, to introduce law and order, to issue mining licenses and collect revenue. When the mostly American miners challenged Cox's authority, British Columbia's governor, James Douglas, cantered over and invited the angry mob to discuss the situation.

His diplomacy quelled an imminent rebellion and the gold camp settled in peaceably. With gold fetching only $16 an ounce, some miners made as much as $970 a week but, by 1861 the Rock Creek lode was played out. The many businesses that had spawned relocated to Wild Horse Creek, in the Kootenays, to which the Dewdney Trail, from Hope, had been constructed by 1865. Rock Creek homes were abandoned and only Chinese miners still worked the meagre pickings there. In the early 20th Century, the agricultural and logging potential of the area was developed by new settlers.

Camp McKinney

Although there had been sporadic reports that gold was present in the range of hills east of Oliver, it wasn't until 1887 that Al McKinney recorded his "Cariboo" mineral claim and W.S. Burnham, with Edward LeFain, established the "Amelia" mine.

Both claims were bought, two years later, by James "Spokane Jimmy" Monahan who hauled from Washington State a stamp mill but, at the border, found he hadn't sufficient cash to pay duties due on his plant. Monahan issued an unsigned cheque to meet the customs demand and, by the time the error was detected, Monahan's mining venture was paying dividends handsome enough to meet his debt.

The Saloons

Hugh Cameron's, the Sailor and the McDuff together with a general store and school house, built in 1897, provided services for a population which grew to 250 souls (but never reached the expected 100,000).

In 1896, a stage coach, (this is incorrect - George B. McAulay of Spokane, Washington, one of the major shareholders in the Cariboo mine, was traveling alone in a small wagon, or buckboard, when robbed of the gold.) carrying 900 ounces of Cariboo-Amelia gold, was robbed and the suspect, Matt Roderick, is said to have buried his booty somewhere along the trail. Before he could retrieve it, he was ambushed and shot, the gold is believed still to be in "them thar hills". By 1903, the Cariboo-Amelia mine had closed and, in 1919, a dramatic fire reduced Camp McKinney to ashes. Today, only the cemetery remains there.
From the Historical Marker
Photo goes Here
Type of Marker: Cultural

Type of Sign: Historic Site or Building Marker

Describe the parking that is available nearby: One may park at the side of the road which passes through

What Agency placed the marker?: Okanagan Historical Society

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