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Fort Berens Estate Winery

History of Lillooet

Lillooet is one of the oldest towns in the province, acting a supply point for miners heading to the fields when the gold rush began in 1858. At its peak Lillooet boasted a population of 15,000 and was the second largest settlement north of San Francisco and west of Chicago.

While the town of Lillooet itself was small, nearby Parsonsville, Marysville, and Cayoose Flats became shantytowns and tent cities full of people desperate to find their fortune in the mud, rock, and gravel of the Fraser River and its tributaries.

Remnants of the gold rush remain in the river rock along the banks of the Fraser, in Lillooet’s museum, and along Main Street. To this day, veins can still be found along the Fraser River – all you need is a gold pan and some time on the riverbank.

For more information on the history of Lillooet, visit Tourism British Columbia