Okanagan Explosion

By Ally Benedet

History of Mining in the Okanagan Valley


The first recorded discovery in the Okanagan was in 1833 by David Douglas. At first, there was gold in the creeks near Kamloops then Bear Creek, Mission Creek, Rock Creek and the Fraser River. By 1858 chaos and upheaval in California, where gold was discovered in 1848,over thirty thousand miners had moved into British territory.


When all the miners travelled and inhabited in the Okanagan, they started families and local businesses which soon manufactured more money than ever before. Also everyone settling here raised the amount of goods being sold in this area. And not to mention raising the population a great deal.

Role of the Okanagan Fur Brigade Trail

The trail was used to transport furs, goods and supplies. The two older routes was from Fort Vancouver, using Okanagan Rivers, to Fort Kamloops and was the most used. The miners started using the trails in 1858 to 1862. It was very significant to the miners because then they had a way to ravel into the Okanagan Valley and on the way, find more gold and discover goods to sell in area and create money.

Early European Profile

William Peon

William joined the Hudson's Bay Company in 1828 had a career that covered both the fur trade and gold rush. He was the guide for Father Pandosy and his group of settlers after the fur trade ended when they walked into the Okanagan from Colville in 1859. Peon had discovered gold in 1859 near the Northwest shore of Sugar Lake.

Reasons for Settlement in Okanagan Valley

The main reason why Peon settled in our valley was because after the fur trade he worked as a guide, packer an linguist. William worked for Father Pandosy to guide him and take him to the Okanagan Valley so he did just that.

Early Accomplishments in Europe and other places in North America

William had many accomplishments throughout is passage and here are some of them, he was rewarded scrip for a square mile of land for his heroic efforts of taking supplies which he located the land near where he pre-empted in the kelowna area. Also not to mention that Peon had discovered gold in the Cherry Creek area in 1861. Unfortunatly he did not have any accomplishments in the Okanagan Valley.

Legacy Today?

William Peon was a very huge factor to the Okanagan, if it wasn't for him Father Pandosy would of never had the chance to come to the valley when he did and we may of never had

the first white settlement as soon as we did.