Okanagan Explosion: Final Task

By Jesse benneke

History of Mining in the okanagan Valley


The first recorded trace of gold that was found in the Okanagan valley was by David Douglas in 1833. Gold was discovered in California in 1848. In the Okanagan Valley first there was gold in the creeks near Kamloops, then Bear Creek on the west side of Okanagan Lake and then Mission Creek, Rock Creek and the Fraser River. By 1858 amid turmoil and lawlessness, over thirty thousand miners had moved into the British territory. They fought with the natives and each other to stake their claims, an uneasy truce had formed that exact year with various Washington tribes in 1858. Two men named Palmer and Miller brought a wagon and were accompanied by two hundred miners who where very fearful that the truce may not of been held that well.
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The importance of mining impacted the Okanagan Valley tremendously with people seeking riches (Gold). With miners flowing in from everywhere it raised the amount of goods being bought and sold in the area, it also led to many miners staying and having family's in the Okanagan thus raising the population even more as time went on. Having the Brigade Trail made it way easier for the miners to get to the valley and travel around it as well. Not having the miners would of had a great impact on our community, my guess is that the population/community would of grown a lot slower then it did without the miners. The miners also created many other trails for people to travel on as well and discover many other places in the valley.
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Role of the Okanagan Fur Brigade Trail

The Okanagan Fur Brigade Trail added a way for the miners to travel down and in and out of the valley very easily. Having that trail made it extremely easy for the miners to move the gear they needed to mine the precious resources in our valley. The Okanagan Fur Brigade trail was really the first way of getting into and out of the valley very easily and quickly, without tracking through lots of bush and trees. It was made and called the Fur Brigade Trail because the trail was used to take supplies and trade goods from England to the fur trappers in the interior of B.C. But many settlers, miners, missionaries etc, used it a lot for traveling in and out of the valley.
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Early European Profile- David Douglas

Early History

David Douglas was a Scottish botanists who grew up in Scone, Scotland. He worked as a gardener, and explored the Scottish highlands, North America and Hawaii. David Douglas was educated early in his life by running in the woods and fishing trout streams. Though he did not attend his school classes, he was easily fascinated by wildlife and enjoyed his time outside very much. David Douglas had many specimens of plants that he had brought back that became very successful research pieces.
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Reasons for settlement in Okanagan Valley

David Douglas was in the Okanagan valley to collect specimens for the Royal Horticulture Society while he traveled through the area. He actually never settled in the valley but just took many different trips down to the Okanagan for research purposes.
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Early Accomplishments

In the Columbia River, David Douglas began collecting plants, including the Douglas Fir which was named after him. On two expeditions to the west coast, Oregon and up the Columbia river, David actually collected over 200 species of plants! Including lupins, phlox, penstemmon, sunflowers, clarkia, Californian poppy, mimulus, flowering currant, rose of sharon (hypericum), gaillardia and mahonia. Douglas’s harvest of plants and seeds helped to make Britain the leading country in botanical research.
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Accomplishments in Okanagan Valley

David Douglas traveled to Canada three times in his life before he past away in Hawaii. He discovered many specimens in Canada and was the first to record gold being in Canada. Douglas made three trips from England to North America in the 1820 and 1830, during two of which he spent a lot of time exploring and researching the Columbia River, into British Columbia, south to California and in Hawaii.
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Legacy Today

Over eighty species of plants and several animals where named after David Douglas with scientific names. The well known Douglas Fir refers to David and many other plants in Hawaii are also named after him as well. In his birth place Scone, Scotland there is a memorial to David Douglas as well in Oregon there is a high school and district named after the memorable man.
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Driving Question

The impact David Douglas had on the growth and the development of the Okanagan Valley was that without David the gold rush in Canada might have never happened, he was the one who triggered the outburst of miners flowing into the Okanagan and seeking riches. With miners settling down and having family's it increased the goods being bought and also the population as well. Early European settlers, farmers, missionaries etc., is what our community at one point was made of, the fur brigade trail was the pathway into opening peoples eyes and showing how lovely our valley is and how rich this beautiful valley is in resources. I really believe if we had not had the early Europeans, who visited the valley, we might of never actually developed into the great thriving community that we have now.
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Map of where gold was first found in the Okanagan Valley! Mission Creek.

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Interesting facts!

- David Douglas was found dead in a pit dug to trap wild bullocks at Kaluakauka!
- All the gold in the world is 171,300 tonnes!
-google images
-Miners sheet information