Happy 150th Birthday BC

Today British Columbia is 150 years old. On November 19, 1858 in Fort Langley British Columbia came into existence. The colony’s first Governor James Douglas presided over the ceremony held in the fort. Apparently it was raining. By contrast today is bright and sunny.

There are a few other differences that someone present at that ceremony 150 years ago might notice. Fort Langley did not stay the capital for long. New Westminster took over only a year later and eventually Victoria.

More obviously of course, the Province has grown in population. It is estimated that in the 1850’s┬áthere were less than 150 people of European descent west of the Rockies. The first BC gold rush in the same year and the second one in 1862 soon changed that. Tens of thousands of men, and a few women, came up from California seeking their fortunes.

There were no roads in the colony at the time. Instead the rivers were the main transport routes. With the Rockies as a seemingly impassable barrier and transport no faster than walking or paddling pace, it must have seemed a very remote place.

The area was also densely forested. Imagine the huge first growth forests. Nowadays we have to use our imagination since so little of these mighty trees are left. I doubt that the few Europeans looked on these trees as anything but a nuisance or a business opportunity.

British Columbia has come a long way. Like me, many others are still attracted to this beautiful part of the world.

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