Mining In The Okanagan

By Sam Taneda


Hudsons Bay Company had been buying gold from the Okanagans for many years. David Douglas was the first person to record finding gold in the Okanagan. This happened in 1833. David Douglas's finding got out quickly and soon many miners from around the world started coming to the Okanagan. Later around 1858, gold was found in the Lower Fraser River. This brought over 25 000 new gold miners and settlers to the Okanagan Valley. Many of these new settlers were people who decided to give up on the gold rush in California and decided to come here. In 1865, more gold was found near Revelstoke and some the miners that came to the Okanagan left to go there.


Gold Mining had a huge impact on the Okanagan Valley. The gold rush in this area brought many new settlers to the valley. This increased the population by over 30 000 people. With all of these new settlers the community grew bigger and stronger. This lead to even more people coming and looking to settle in the area.

Role of the Okanagan Fur Brigade trail in the development of mining

The Okanagan Fur Brigade Trail had a very big role in the development of mining in the Okanagan. This trail went right along the western side of the Okanagan Lake. New settlers and miners had easy access right through the valley because of this route. Many people from around the world used this to come to the Okanagan for many different reasons including mining, settling, ranching, and farming.

David Douglas

Early History

David Douglas was born in the village of Scone which is north-east of Perth, Scotland. He was the son of a stonemason and attended the Kinnoull School. After leaving this school he became head gardener at the 3rd Earl of Mansfield at the Scone Palace. Then he went to a college in Perth to study the science of plant culture. This is when he began his career as a botanist.

Reasons for settlement in the Okanagan Valley

David Douglas came to the Okanagan in hope to find new species of plants. David had travelled all over England and Scotland before he decided to come to the lands of North America.

Early Accomplishments

David Douglas was a very successful botanist even before he came to the Okanagan Valley. He discovered many new species of plants on the way to Hudsons Bay. One of these plants was a very famous discovery of his known as the Douglas Fir. From 1830-1832 he explored the the grounds of California and Fraser River. During this time David Douglas found 50 new trees and shrubs along with 100 new herbaceous plants.

Accomplishments in the Okanagan

David Douglas did not have many huge accomplishments in the Okanagan. Although he did have one huge discovery and that was because he was the very first person to record finding gold in the Okanagan Valley. This was a very important event because it started the gold rush in the area. David's discovery brought many new settlers into the valley and made the Okanagan what it is today.

Legacy Today

David Douglas is very well known due to his discovery of gold in the Okanagan Valley and a lot of his plants that he found such as the Douglas Fir. David is very well known in his home country Scotland. There is a memorial to his name in the place where he was born which is Scone, Scotland

Driving Question

The impact David Douglas had on the growth and the development of the Okanagan Valley was huge. He was the first person to ever record finding gold in the Okanagan. This got the attention of many other gold miners around the world. More and more of the miners across the world came pouring into the valley when they got this news. This increased the population greatly with over 40 000 new settlers coming into the Okanagan. With all of these new people in the area it strengthened the community immensely. These new people created their own new towns which allowed the Okanagan Valley to grow and get stronger.

Interesting facts

David Douglas was a botanist from Scone, Scotland who discovered hundreds of different plant, shrub and tree species. He explored areas in Scotland, North America and even Hawaii which is the place of his death.