The Overlanders

The Overlanders

The Overlanders were gold seekers from Ontario who trekked across the western Interior to the Cariboo between 1858 and 1862. Most of them were young men of limited means who hoped to make their fortunes in the Gold Rush. The largest group made the crossing in 1862. Members gathered at the Red River Settlement in Manitoba, and the first group of about 150 people, led by Thomas McMicking, set out early in June. Two smaller groups followed. The main party’s only woman, Catherine Schubert, traveled with her husband and three young children; their fourth child was born after they arrived in BC. They journeyed by Red River cart and packhorse, crossing the plains to Fort Edmonton. Another group went overland south toward Kamloops, two were drowned along the way and the rest almost starved. A few Overlanders found gold in the Cariboo; many remained in BC and went on to have successful careers. (from B.C. Encyclopedia)

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Fortune, William

Fortune, William

William was a farmer, businessman (b 1838, Yorkshire, England; d 1 Dec 1914, Kamloops). After immigrating to Ontario, he joined the party of Overlanders who travelled across the continent in 1862 to join the Cariboo Gold Rush. He worked for the HBC in Kamloops, then moved west to settle at Tranquille, where he developed a ranch and farm and built the first flour mill in the Interior. In 1878 he built the sidewheel steamer Lady Dufferin to haul supplies on the Thompson and Shuswap waterways. He sold his property for use as a tuberculosis sanitarium in 1907 and returned to Kamloops, where he was prominent in business until his death. (from B.C. Encyclopedia)