Historical Events and Places in Likely

History of Likely and Area


The discovery of gold in 1858-9 in the Horsefly and Likely areas radically changed settlement patterns. Prospectors from all over the globe rushed to the boom towns of Harper’s Camp, Quesnel Forks, Keithley Creek and Cedar City.


Large populations of Chinese settled where Europeans had been and once the gold fever abated, huge scale hydraulic extraction facilities, like the Bullion Mine in Likely replaced many of the small placer mines.


Road Houses set up along the early gold rush trails to service prospectors became ranching homesteads, like the Alkali Ranch just outside Williams Lake, reported to be the oldest beef producer in Western Canada.


The Cariboo Wagon Road attracted many transient miners who decided to make the Cariboo their home, but it also enabled early pioneers to bring their wagons and stock into fertile valleys and clear the land.