Miners in the Okanagan Valley

By:Paris Ortynski, BLK:G


  • 1848 gold was discovered in California. Miners were equipped from all over the world.
  • It had enticed miners to leave British territory
  • The first gold creeks were near. Rock creek, Bear creek, mission creek, and the Fraser River.
  • In 1858,amid turmoil and lawlessness, over 30 thousand miners had moved to British territory. They fought with Natives and each other,to sake their claims.
  • 1860,Edgar Dewdney,a British engineer.as commissioned to build a wagon road from Hope through the Kootenays.


This was important to the Okanagan valley because Edgar built a pack trail from Hope to the mining camps of the Simlikameen valley. Later,in 1865,after the gold strikes in the Kootenays, he would extend the trail to Wild Horse creek (Wild horse river).It became known as the Dewdney trail and was the principal route to the interior for several years. In 1862-1863 he surveyed in the Cariboo country, again associated with gold mining, and in 1866 he built trails from Lillooet and Cache creek into a nearby gold mining area. A year later he settles for a while near Soda Creek and tried his hand in stock raising. Becoming wealthy was still his primary ambition but it continued to elude him.

Role of the Okanagan fur Brigade trail

The impact it had on the miners, were that the HBC company had been buying gold from the Okanagan Valley for many years. Also companies used the fur Brigade Trail that lead through the Okanagan. First there was gold in the creeks, near Kamloops,Rock creek, mission creek, Bear creek and the Fraser river. Over thirty thousand miners had moved to The British Territory to sake their claims.As well as Edgars trail was an advantage for shipping clothing and food.

Early history

Edgar Dewdney was born in a middle class with servants in the country of Devonshire,England in 1835.He was an educator as a civil engineer at Cardiff. Quickly finding work from his former employer,Dewndey began to govern James Douglas.Dewndey working for colonel Richard moody laying out the New Mainland capital city,New Westminster.

Settlement in the Okanagan Valley

Dewdney founded work with Richard Clement moody,and a contingent of royal engineers who were surveying the site of New Westminster.Recently chosen to be the capital of the Mainland colonel of BC.He also assisted in the construction of government buildings and in sale of a lot of towns.

Early accomplishments

Charles Dewdney was described as a gentleman, and of assumed higher class, since Dewdney received an education "only available to wealthier classes."He attended school in Bideford, Tiverton and Exeter, England, before he studied civil engineering in Cardiff, Wales. He later served for a year as a private secretary in London. In 1858-1859 British newspapers carried stories of the fortunes being made in the gold fields of the Fraser valley, in the Pacific northwest, and the young Dewdney decided that this was were he would ply his trade, and would return within 10 years as a wealthy man.

Accomplishments in the OKanagan

Edgar built a wagon road from Hope through the goldfields in the Kootenays.why did he do this? It was for British and merchants authorities to access the riches that American miners were findingand taking away.Before this all happened James Douglas and Dewdney's first project was the Hope to Similkameen mule trail,which ended in a dispute with most over money.

Legacy today

  • Dewdney,Brotish Colombia is the name of a locality immediately east Misssion,BC located below Dewdney peak on the North Shore of the Fraser river.
  • Dewdney trail.
  • The Dewdney truck road was one of the earliest main roads in the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia, running from Port Moody to the community of Dewdney. Today it exists in sections in Coqiuitlam and Port Coqiuitlam.
  • He served as a lieutenant governor or the north west territories and the fifth lieutenant-governor of British Columbia.

Diving question

The impact on Edgar Dewdney had on growth of the Okanagan valley was beneficial from burgeoning trade associates with gold mining in that area, but also secore line of communication with the region to prevent an American takeover. following the route of Dewdneys trail. It was beneficial from burgeoning trade associated with gold mining in that area. But also to prevent an American takeover of that part of the province. Highway 3,largley follows the route of Dewdney's trail.

Map of original area

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Edgar Dewdney

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map of today

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