When tens of thousands of gold prospectors and businessmen flocked to B.C. in the mid to late 1800s, many of them stayed with their fortunes.
Their story and the results of their settlement are now being explored in a Coquitlam Heritage exhibit that opens Friday at Mackin House Museum.
Titled Coquitlam’s Heart of Gold, the display by Tannis Koskela focuses in on the miners of the 1858 Fraser River Gold Rush, the 1862 Cariboo Gold Rush and the 1899 Klondike Gold Rush as well as the women who supported them.
Showing 19th century artifacts from the Coquitlam Heritage collection, the CFB Chilliwack Historical Society, Barkerville Historic Town and Park and others, the exhibit is a reminder of past riches and Coquitlam’s ties to the rushes.
Pioneering families such as the Gatensburys, Mundays and Clarkes — for whom Coquitlam streets bear their names — had gold rush connections, and a few British women who had come over on bride ships called Coquitlam home.
Next Saturday, as part of BC Culture Days, the Coquitlam Heritage Society will host a Heart of Gold exhibit celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. at Mackin House.
The Golden Spike CanCan Dancers will entertain, and tours of the Fraser Mills train station and caboose will take place before they close for the season.
Visitors are asked to bring a non-perishable food donation for the Share food bank, and adhere to provincial health orders by wearing a face mask.
The event at Mackin House (1116 Brunette Ave., Coquitlam) on Sept. 25 is free and no registration is required. Visit coquitlamheritage.ca.