Gold mines and mining--British Columbia



Scope note(s)

Source note(s)

  • Previously Mines and mining--Gold Source: Visual Records database

Display note(s)

  • See also: British Columbia--Gold discoveries

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Gold mines and mining--British Columbia

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Gold mines and mining--British Columbia

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Gold mines and mining--British Columbia

634 Archival description results for Gold mines and mining--British Columbia

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A.H. Maynard collection

  • PR-1258
  • Collection
  • [between 1896 and 1932]

The collection consists of four discreet collections of photographs, the bulk of which are lantern slides. The majority of the fonds consists of several sets of lantern slides, the bulk of which contain photographic subject matter dating from 1868 to 1930. The photograph collections are attributed to Albert Hatherly Maynard, son of early pioneer photographer Richard Maynard (1832-1907). Within lantern slide collections, slides from creators of other distinct lantern slide collections (likely Charles Frederick Newcombe and William A. Newcombe), appear to be included. A small number of flexible negatives are also included in one of the accessions.

A large number of lantern slides depict scenes of the Fraser River gold rush era of the 1860s, in the regions of Yale to Barkerville, Quesnel and Cottonwood in the interior of British Columbia. Many of the reproductions of photographs featured in the lantern slides in this collection are attributed early pioneer photographer’s works including those created by Richard Maynard during the 1860s and A.H. Maynard’s works produced in the 1920s. It also includes the photographic works of other early B.C. photographers including Frederick Dally (1838-1914), likely Louis A. Blanc who documented similar subjects as the Maynards particularly Barkerville, the Cariboo and the Cariboo Roads in British Columbia during the period before and after the Fraser River gold rush of the 1860s. A small number of photographic works by Frederick Dundas Todd (1858-1926) and F. [Dewitt] Reed are also contained within several of the slide collections.

Accessions 198203-025 and 198203-065 consist of slide compilations that depict a visual narrative of the history of Barkerville, the Cariboo Road and Cariboo region in the B.C. interior during the period of the 1868 Fraser River gold rush era and sixty years later in the 1920s. The bulk of the scenes of the gold mining resource industry, as well as views of transportation roads and routes along the journey to the goldfields. To a lesser extent views of other resources industries (forestry, agriculture, fishing and farming/ranching) are depicted against the nature and lands of the B.C. interior. Mining towns within the Lighting Creek and Williams Creek Districts, including Barkerville (before and after the fire of 1868), Richfield and Cameronton are represented, as well as other scenes representing the following views of gold mining operations: claims sites, posed group portraits and likenesses of miners, equipment and the production activity of early mining technology of associated mining companies, businesses and partnerships in the area. Photographs of mining claims and claims sites and the miners and labourers involved at Mucho Oro, Aurora Gold, Minnehah, Never Sweat; The Rankin Company (Grouse Creek), Ne’er do Weel (Grouse Creek) and the Canadian Grouse Company (Grouse Creek) are included in the sequences. Imagery along and of the Cariboo Road(s) are described as depicting various views, scenes and activities including: freight and trade transportation, transportation methods and transportation routes (ox pack teams, gold escorts; steamer “Reliance” and Fraser River crossings; travelers); views along the Cariboo Road(s) that include the geological terrain of the Fraser River (its river banks and surrounding forested and arid landscapes) at various points along the route to the goldfields including the Fraser Canyon and Lady Franklin Rock; examples of civil engineering as such as bridges; homes and ranches as well as accommodations such as roadhouses and hotels (70, 83, 108 and 150 Mile Houses, Pioneer Hotel, Van Winkel Hotel at Stanley, Colonial Hotel at Soda Creek and the Hastings Hotel) and businesses (Masonic Hall at Barkerville) in colonial service towns and mining communities and settlements. Indigenous communities do not appear to be identified in lantern slide captions, though the geographical regions documented in slides reflect many traditional Indigenous territories in which the Fraser River gold rush traversed and was situated. It appears that traditional Indigenous fishing methods are present in some views, likely in those of the Fraser River. Several photographs of geological specimens (gold nuggets) are included within the set. There appear to be very limited images of regional wildlife. There are a small number of group photographs reflecting the diverse population of gold miners, pioneers and travelers of the Interior B.C. (“Crew of SS "Nechacco"), including women and children. The views from the 1920s, appear to reflect A. H. Maynard’s trips to Barkerville, the Cariboo Road(s) and the Cariboo region. Finally, there are several views described as from the period in between 1868 and the 1920s. These slides depict views including those of the Fraser Valley region by F. Dundas Todd, a surveying team in “East Kootenay” and a few images described as the Okanagan.

A smaller collection of lantern slides (accession 198203-066) feature a random mix of Fraser River gold rush era views, military subjects, theatrical entertainment and other topics. Many slides appear to be images reproduced from works of art, books and other published materials. Documentation of theatrical productions include images of scenes and portraits from Shakespearean plays (Macbeth, Othello, A Winter’s Tale), as well as Anne Hathaway's cottage. It also includes documentation of the destruction of religious institutions during World War I, primarily in Ypres. Some of these slides indicate “mounted by Edgar Fleming, Victoria, B.C.”

Another collection of photographs (accession 198201-068) consist of 107 black and white flexible film negatives depicting Canadian and American views taken between the period of May and June 1914. These include views include of Bowmanville, Toronto and Niagara, Ontario in May 1914; Rochester and New York, New York in May and June, and the "Rio Grande" in Colorado in June of the same year. Photographs of American destinations such as San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlantic City including Freemount Park, Salt Lake and [Ogden], Denver and Washington, DC are here. Several locations on Vancouver Island identified as Victoria, Saanich and Mill Bay also housed in this group of photographs. This unit also includes film negatives described as “C.P.R.y [Railway] 1914”. 25 copy prints were made from these negatives due to deterioration of original film negatives.16 images of Bowmanville and Toronto in May 1914 and 9 images of Vancouver Island including Victoria, Saanich and Mill Bay are available.

Maynard, Albert Hatherly

Al and Fred Bears interview

RECORDED: [location unknown], 1963-03-14 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mr. Fred Bears describes how his father, John Henry Bears, came from California to BC for the gold rush in 1875 and settled in Hope. He also tells about platinum in Granite Creek, people who struck it rich, anecdotes about packers, prospectors, teaching people to mine, gold at Hills Bar, staking claims, the Hudson's Bay post run by 'Old Man Yates' who ran a small store, freighting cattle along the Fraser River, details about their route before the turn of the century, and Bill Bristol. TRACK 2: Fred Bears continues with his stories about Bill Bristol. Al Bears describes what Bill Bristol looked like, and that he came from England. Al goes on to discuss his life, where he went to school, the people who lived in Hope when he was young (there were only six families and they made their living off horses and packing); Luke Gibson; and the trails through Hope. Fred Bears then tells anecdotes about prospecting in the area and the clothes people wore.

Albion Bed Rock Flume Company fonds

  • PR-1040
  • Fonds
  • 1864-1868

The fonds consists of minutes of meetings of the Directors, a ledger and an agreement of the Albion Bed Rock Flume Company.

Albion Bed Rock Flume Company

Angela McDiarmid interview

CALL NUMBER: T0675:0001 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1964 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mrs. Angela McDairmid was born in Princeton before it was known as Princeton; she discusses her earliest memories; where the house was; several anecdotes about her mother and her youth; her father; floods; her family history; her father's arrival in Victoria in 1858; the gold rush on the Fraser River; the pack trains; the area around Princeton as she remembers it; more stories. Susan Louise Moir was her mother, and she discusses her life; her parents' early married life; the first settlers in Princeton; gold mining in Granite Creek; John Chance and other prospectors; how Princeton got its name. TRACK 2: Mrs. McDairmid continues by describing the first mines in the area; the Hope Trail; some characters; Chinese workers who worked for her father; stories; some characters whom she remembers.

CALL NUMBER: T0675:0002 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1964 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mrs. McDairmid continues with stories about the land around Princeton, some bodies that were found, building a bridge, a shooting among Indians, the Allison town site, Judge Haynes, Indian boat races at the river, potlatches, a shooting, the killing of a Nicola Indian, Merritt as a coal mining town, Dr. Tuttle's hanging, superstition among the Indians. Finally, she discusses her father giving the copyright to his stories to her sister. [TRACK 2: blank.]

Artie Phair interview

CALL NUMBER: T0360:0001 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1964-07-26 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mr. Art H. Phair discusses his background; in that he was born in 1880, details of his father's work, his experience at private school in Victoria, the story of the Golden Cache Mine swindle of 1886-98. He describes the early history of Lillooet from 1856, the gold rush of 1858, Chinese miners around Lillooet in the 1880s, pre-war land boom and economic cycles in Lillooet.

TRACK 2: Phair discusses Indian life prior to European contact, strained White-Indian relations, bad relations between Indians, the Poole murder at Pemberton Meadows, murders and hangings, more on Lillooet Indians, Lillooet as a "melting pot" of many races, and the Chinese in Lillooet after 1884.

CALL NUMBER: T0360:0002 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1964-07-26 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Phair offers anecdotes about Indians and Chinese people, more about his own childhood experiences at school in Victoria, adventures and "close calls", hunting and prospecting, tobacco growing near Lillooet, the meaning of the word "Lillooet", early farmers between Lillooet and Pavilion, gold panning as a young boy, his family background, the red light district in Lillooet and the flourishing of Lillooet between 1858 and 1864.

TRACK 2: Phair comments more on the Chinese in the area, he describes how his store was a social center, how it was robbed, Indians in the store, and the start of big game hunting in Lillooet after 1884. Phair describes the Pemberton to Lillooet road, his family's relations with Indians, the John Bull murder, old settlements near Lillooet, crossing the Fraser River at Lillooet, how his mother was a musician, uncle was a poet, an incident about a priest who alleged to have beaten an Indian woman, and finally his father's background.


The item is a composite print of a travelogue, made 1978-1979. It is a portrait of the historic gold rush town of Atlin in the northwestern corner of BC. Includes shots of abandoned mining sites and the old sternwheeler "Tarahne".

August Castle interview

RECORDED: [location unknown], 1963-03-14 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mr. August Castle came to Yale in 1882. Born in Victoria, he liked fishing, hunting and prospecting. He discusses mining and prospecting in the area, the Western Nickel Mine, and the development of Yale. He describes the gold mining days, offering several anecdotes. TRACK 2: Mr. Castle continues with more anecdotes.

Barkerville or bust : short version "A"

The item is reel of documentary film. The history of the Cariboo gold rush town of Barkerville, and its restoration as a historic park, are depicted through the medium of the live "period" variety stage show at the town's Theatre Royal.

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