Gold Rush - Fairview, British Columbia
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 10.453 W 119° 35.999
11U E 310504 N 5450077
Quick Description: Gold Rush informational sign is located on a four sided kiosk at the old townsite of Fairview. It is approximately 4.5 km SW of city hall in Oliver.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 1/20/2021 5:10:44 AM
Waymark Code: WM13P2W
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 0

Long Description:
The area, later known as Fairview, began as a small claim in 1887. By 1919, Fairview had become a ghost town. Little remains, the site of the Presbyterian Church, constructed at Fairview in 1899 was moved to Okanagan Falls and is affectionately known as the Blasted Church. The Fairview jail, the last remnants of Fairview was moved to the Oliver Museum in 1981. I have yet to find the old cemetery, though no headstones remain, the small iron fencing that surrounded children's graves is still there. The Okanagan Historical Society installed a pedestal with a commemorative plaque at the cemetery, that is my understanding.

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 resent in the range of hills east of Oliver, it wasn't until 1887 at Al McKinney recorded his "Cariboo" mineral claim and WS. 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, 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.

*Map shows mineral claims in the Camp McKinney area. The green grid denotes the proposed town site. However, the camp was built on the claims: Maple Leaf , Emma, Alice, Cariboo, Amelia, Sawtooth and Okanagan.

Group that erected the marker: Okanagan Historical Society

URL of a web site with more information about the history mentioned on the sign: [Web Link]

Address of where the marker is located. Approximate if necessary:
Fairview Road
Oliver, British Columbia Canada
V0H 1T0


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