Gold. With that one little word and its promise of fabulous wealth, people from all parts of the world came to British Columbia in the 1850s and 1860s. Most were ill equipped for the difficult terrain, the icy water, and the inhospitable climate. Some found the motherlode. Others settled for becoming rich merchants. Most became impoverished, and a large number lost their lives. With new roads and new settlers, the gold rush helped build Canada's West. This pictorial history tells the stories of the Fraser and Cariboo gold rush and of the lives involved in that tumultuous but decisive event in Canadian history.