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Sale 79: The George J. Kramer Collection of Western Trails and Routes

Table of Contents

British Columbia and Vancouver Island

Lot 3396    

Barnard's Cariboo Express, Paid, black on green label affixed on 3¢ pink (U35) buff entire with printed Wheeler's Express (WHE-001) scroll frank and cancelled by "Wells Fargo & Co., Marysville" double-oval datestamp with matching blue "Paid" double-oval to William Roberts at Williams Creek, Cariboo, endorsed "W.B." and "150" express rating; some minor edge restoration, Very Fine appearance, ex Dale-Lichtenstein.
Estimate    $5,000 - 7,500.


When on August 17, 1862, prospector Billy Barker struck major gold deposits at the head of Williams Creek, he culminated probes of others who had come to the area as early as 1859. The 50 miles surrounding what would become Barkerville contained the greatest and richest gold deposits in the history of British Columbia. Thus began the "Cariboo" gold rush. The Cariboo gold region was 400 miles beyond the head of navigation on the Fraser River. It was located northeast of Fort Hope / Yale area, which was the scene of the "Fraser River" gold rush of a few years prior.

In 1862, Francis Jones Barnard established a one-horse pony express with himself as sole rider, serving the Cariboo from Yale, where he met with Dietz & Nelson Express that provided services between New Westminster and Yale. $1 per letter carrier or delivered.

Beginning in December 1863, Samuel and Simeon Wheeler operated this express for several months. They ran between the Gibsonville Cal. mining camps and Marysville where they connected with Wells Fargo.

Realized: $9,000

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