The Cariboo Trail

A Chronicle of the Gold-fields of British Columbia

By (author): Agnes C. Laut
Foreword by: Diana French
ISBN 9781771510332
Softcover | Publication Date: September 17, 2013
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
96 Pages

About the Book

Agnes C. Laut’s The Cariboo Trail is a fascinating history of the Canadian gold rush that began in 1858. When, in early 1849, a group of ragged miners arrived in the sleepy town of Victoria from California, no one would have believed that a little over ten years later a gold rush would hit the Fraser River.

Between 1859 and 1871, thousands of miners and prospectors travelled north and east from the headwaters of the Fraser River, with the hopes of striking it rich. And many did—over the course of twelve years, twenty-five million dollars in gold came from the Cariboo country.

Originally published in 1920 as part of the Chronicles of Canada series, Laut’s exciting and personalized account of the Cariboo gold rush is filled with tidbits gleaned through conversations with “old-timers” still living on the trail and facts acquired on trips in the Rockies guided by prospectors. From the story of the construction of the famous Cariboo road—”one of the wonders of the world”—and the Overlanders’ journey across the width of the continent to details about the techniques and machinery used in the mines and life in the camps, the period, the gold rush, and the Cariboo region are brought to life for the reader.

Though it had ended by federation with the Canadian Dominion, the “inrush of miners” during the Cariboo gold rush gave birth to the colony of British Columbia. The Cariboo Trail is a more than just a narrative of those events—it is a thoroughly enjoyable and integral part of the history of the region and of Canada.

About the Author(s)

Agnes C. Laut was born in Huron County, Ontario, in 1871. She became a reporter and editorial writer for the Manitoba Free Press in the 1890s and later a wide-ranging travel writer. Her books include Pioneers of the Pacific Coast, The Cariboo Trail, Lords of the North, Heralds of Empire, The Story of the Trapper, Pathfinders of the West, Vikings of the Pacific, and The Romance of the Rails. She died in 1936.

Diana French moved to the Cariboo Chilcotin region in 1951 to teach in a one-room school. She married Bob French, the son of a pioneer family, and they settled in Williams Lake in 1970. Along with raising five sons, Diana worked for the Williams Lake Tribune as a reporter, and now writes a weekly column for the newspaper. She is involved in various community activities and has been the volunteer curator of the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin for more than twenty years. She has also written three books: The Road Runs West: A Century Along the Bella Coola/Chilcotin Road (Harbour Publishing); Ranchland: British Columbia's Cattle Country, co-authored with Rick Blacklaws (Harbour Publishing); and Women of Brave Mettle: More Stories of the Cariboo Chilcotin (Caitlin Press).