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flag  History of British Columbia, Canada

Journey back in time to British Columbia, Canada

Visit British Columbia, Canada. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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 British Columbia, Canada - Kamloops, B.C.

"British Columbia is Canada's most westerly province, and is a mountainous area whose population is mainly clustered in its southwestern corner. BC is Canada’s third-largest province after Québec and Ontario, making up 10 per cent of Canada’s land surface. British Columbia is a land of diversity and contrast within small areas. Coastal landscapes, characterized by high, snow-covered mountains rising above narrow fjords and inlets, contrast with the broad forested upland of the central interior and the plains of the northeast. The intense "Britishness" of earlier times is referred to in the province's name, which originated with Queen Victoria and was officially proclaimed in 1858."

"The southern part of the area now known as British Columbia was called "Columbia", after the Columbia River. The central region was given the name of "New Caledonia" by explorer Simon Fraser. To avoid confusion with Colombia in South America and the island of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean, Queen Victoria named the area British Columbia when it became a colony in 1858."

"British Columbia: Canada's unconventional westernmost province is seen by Canadians as the land of the future, and has more in common with Seattle than Toronto. Like many other western Canadians, many residents of British Columbia feel somewhat estranged from "easterners" (a general code word for those from Ontario and Quebec)."

There is MUCH more to discover about British Columbia, Canada. Read on!

British Columbia Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Kamloops, B.C.
British Columbia, Canada

Kamloops, B.C.
Capilano Canyon and Flume, Vancouver, B.C.
British Columbia, Canada

Capilano Canyon and Flume, Vancouver, B.C.
Great Bluff on the Thompson River, B.C.

Concise School Atlas of the Dominion of Canada: Historica
British Columbia, Canada

Great Bluff on the Thompson River, B.C.

Concise School Atlas of the Dominion of Canada: Historical and Physical Features of Provinces, Districts, and Territories of the Dominion by Canada Dept. of the Interior, 1900
British Columbia, Canada

The Royal Anne Hotel, Kelowna, B. C.
British Columbia, Canada

The Royal Anne Hotel, Kelowna, B. C.
Visit Vancouver Island
British Columbia, Canada

Visit Vancouver Island

Discover British Columbia: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1778 - Captain James Cook of Great Britain reached Nootka Counda, first white man to set foot in B.C. webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ province/ bcztimeln.htm
1787 - John Mackay first white man to live in B.C. webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ province/ bcztimeln.htm
1846 - Oregon Treaty between United States, Great Britain signed; Britain relinquished claims to territory south of 49th parallel webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ province/ bcztimeln.htm
1850 - Gold quartz discovered on west coast of Queen Charlotte Islands; coal miners struck at Nanaimo due to non-working mine, inferior coal, food shortages, danger from warring natives webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ province/ bcztimeln.htm
1857 - Gold rush began after discovery at Fraser River webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ province/ bcztimeln.htm
1858 - Colony of B.C. formed webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ province/ bcztimeln.htm
1866 - Vancouver Island, B.C. united with passage of Imperial Act webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ province/ bcztimeln.htm
1870--Population of British Columbia, 10,586 of immigrants and their descendants.
1871 - B.C. became 6th Canadian province (July 20) webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ province/ bcztimeln.htm
BRITISH COLUMBIA, formerly NEW CALEDONIA, a province of the Dominion of Canada, bounded on the N. by the 60th parallel of latitude; E. by the main chain of the Rocky Mountains; S. by the United States; and W. by Alaska, the Pacific Ocean and Queen Charlotte's Sound. Length 764 miles; breadth about 400 miles. Area 350,000 square miles. The coast line is deeply indented. The northern part of the colony is diversified with mountain, lake and river; is of extraordinary fertility, producing alt Canadian cereals and vegetables, and fruits in larger measure than any part of even Ontario, and with a mining region (Omineca) at the head waters of the Peace, Skeena, and Fraser Rivers, which, though very imperfectly explored, (owing to their inaccessibility to general travel) gives indications of being very rich in gold and silver. The southern and middle part includes the rich gold valley of Fraser River, and is well adapted for pasturage, and also, with irrigation, for agriculture; some parts,... Read MORE...

1881 - Rogers Pass
In order to find a route through the Selkirk Mountains in British Columbia, the Canadian Pacific Railway paid a surveyor names Major Albert Bowman Rogers $5000 to find a pass. He found it in 1881 and it was named Rogers Pass in his honor. He didn't want to cash the check at first and framed it on his wall. The railway gave him an engraved watch instead so that he could cash the check.
The last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven into the ground on November 7th, 1885, at Craigellachie, B.C. This was six years ahead of the planned schedule that would have taken a full ten years.
1895 - British Columbia
Brit'ish Colum'bia, a province of the Dominion of Canada, on the Pacific coast of North America, extending from the Rocky Mountains westward, bounded S. by the United States, and limited on the N. by the 60th degree of N. lat. At the head of Smoky River, about lat. 54° 40' N., its E. boundary leaves the Rocky Mountain crest, and follows the meridian of 120° W. lon. northward. Area, 383,300 square miles. It includes Vancouver, Queen Charlotte's, and many minor islands. A large part of its surface is mountainous and densely timbered. Gold-mining has thus far been a leading pursuit. Tertiary anthracite and bituminous coal are abundant, and are exported to some extent. Timber, furs, fish, and fish oil are the other principal products. There are considerable tracts of arable land; and in the S.W., where the principal settlements are, the climate is mild in winter and cool in summer. The rainfall is large. Chief towns, New Westminster, and Victoria, the capital. The colony has its own... Read MORE...

1903 - Boundary between Alaska, B.C. established; railway employees struck, labour leader, Frank Rogers, killed while picketing (Canada's first martyr) webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ province/ bcztimeln.htm
1908 - Peter Verigin, leader of the Doukhobours since his arrival in Canada in 1902, leads the extremist Sons of Freedom to British Columbia.
1923 - Cumberland mine explosion killed 33; Chinese Immigration Act passed, ended all Chinese immigration to Canada webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ province/ bcztimeln.htm
1946 - 7.3 earthquake struck Courtenay on Vancouver Island webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ province/ bcztimeln.htm
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in British Columbia:
1. Vancouver:

Stanley Park: Explore this iconic park with its seawall, totem poles, and beautiful views of the city.

Granville Island: A vibrant cultural district with artisan shops, theaters, and a public market.

Grouse Mountain: Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and skiing, and take in the breathtaking views of the city.

Science World: Perfect for families, this interactive science museum is both fun and educational.

2. Victoria (Vancouver Island):

Royal BC Museum: Discover the natural and cultural history of British Columbia through fascinating exhibits.

Butchart Gardens: Stroll through stunning gardens with colorful flowers and picturesque landscapes.
Whale Watching: Go on a whale-watching tour and spot orcas, humpback whales, and other marine life.

3. Whistler:

Whistler Blackcomb: Renowned for skiing and snowboarding in winter, but also great for hiking and mountain biking in the summer.

Village Stroll: Enjoy the charming alpine village with...

Discover MY Roots: British Columbia Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in British Columbia, Canada

We currently have information about 5 ancestors who were born or died in British Columbia.

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Our British Columbia Gift Ideas

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Updated: 9/18/2023 5:07:13 PM