Wandering through the overgrown foilage near
the confluence of the Quesnel and Cariboo rivers, it is hard to imagine that
this was once the site of a bustling 'metropolis' of the day in 1859. Older
than Barkerville and a true 'ghost town' (unlike Barkerville which was never
uninhabited). The town of Quesnelle Forks was the largest settlement north of
San Franscisco, if only for a brief time. When the gold began to pan out and
more was found on creeks further north (such as Antler and Grouse), Quesnelle
Forks days were numbered. The death knell came when the decision was made to
bypass the Forks in favour of another route during the construction of the Cariboo
Today, the Barkerville-Cariboo Goldfields Historical Society, the Ministry of Small Business, Tourism and Culture and a local Quesnelle Forks Historical Society are working together to help salvage some of the remains of the once proud town of 5,000. Included among the remaining treasures is one of the oldest Chinese tong (free mason's society) houses in Canada.
Also in the immediate vicinity of Quesnelle Forks and Likely is the famous Bullion Pit, the largest man-made open-pit gold mine in the province. It's BIG!!!
For more information about this fascinating historical footnote, visit Likely and drop in to speak with Henry Hicks, founder of the Quesnelle Museum and Historical Society and a character in his own right.
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contents © Ron Young