Sunset above Fraser River in Lytton, Canada. Lytton is situated in British Columbia at the confluence of the Thompson River and Fraser River
gold

Over $118 million in gold was recovered from the Hill’s bar

Hill's Bar, one of the richest gold bearing gravel bars in the world, is located in the Fraser River Canyon, in British Columbia, Canada. Simon Fraser explored the river canyon, later named after him, in 1808, but until his death he had no idea what he had discovered.

Hill's Bar was also the name of nearby gold rush town, long-abandoned ghost town now. The site of the former boomtown is situated near right bank of Fraser River, between Yale and mouth of Emory Creek. The eponymous bar was the first active placer mining site at the onset of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, and was the scene of the Boatmakers of San Francisco claim, which included Ned McGowan of McGowan's War, and involved a dispute with Kowpelst (White Hat), chief of the Spuzzum people.[9.]

Price of gold 1848-1900

Year New York
Market Price

(U.S. dollars
per fine ounce)
London
Market Price

(British £
per fine ounce)
1848 $20.67 £ 4.24
1849 $20.67 £ 4.24
1850 $20.67 £ 4.24
1851 $20.67 £ 4.24
1852 $20.67 £ 4.24
1853 $20.67 £ 4.24
1854 $20.67 £ 4.24
1855 $20.67 £ 4.24
1856 $20.67 £ 4.24
1857 $20.70 £ 4.24
1858 $20.67 £ 4.24
1859 $20.67 £ 4.24
1860 $20.67 £ 4.24
1861 $20.67 £ 4.24
1862 $23.42 £ 4.24
1863 $30.02 £ 4.24
1864 $42.03 £ 4.24
1865 $32.52 £ 4.24
1866 $29.13 £ 4.24
1867 $28.57 £ 4.24
1868 $28.88 £ 4.24
1869 $27.49 £ 4.24
1870 $23.75 £ 4.24
1871 $23.09 £ 4.24
1872 $23.24 £ 4.24
1873 $23.52 £ 4.24
1874 $22.99 £ 4.24
1875 $23.75 £ 4.24
1876 $23.05 £ 4.24
1877 $21.66 £ 4.24
1878 $20.84 £ 4.24
1879 $20.67 £ 4.24
1880 $20.67 £ 4.24
1881 $20.67 £ 4.24
1882 $20.67 £ 4.24
1883 $20.67 £ 4.24
1884 $20.67 £ 4.24
1885 $20.67 £ 4.24
1886 $20.67 £ 4.24
1887 $20.67 £ 4.24
1888 $20.67 £ 4.24
1889 $20.67 £ 4.24
1890 $20.67 £ 4.24
1891 $20.67 £ 4.25
1892 $20.67 £ 4.25
1893 $20.67 £ 4.25
1894 $20.67 £ 4.24
1895 $20.67 £ 4.24
1896 $20.67 £ 4.25
1897 $20.67 £ 4.25
1898 $20.67 £ 4.25
1899 $20.67 £ 4.24
1900 $20.67 £ 4.25
source: Lawrence H. Officer and Samuel H. Williamson, 'The Price of Gold, 1257-2014,' MeasuringWorth, 2018;

Sketch of part of British Columbia, by Lieut. R. C. Mayne 1859.

"Gold was still being found in California at the time of the gold rush to British Columbia, but much of the easy digging was gone and many miners were seeking new sources of wealth. Gold had been reported earlier in British Columbia, around Fort Kamloops in the early 1850s, for instance. Rumors of gold found on the Thompson River by natives aroused interest in California and when the S.S. Otter arrived in San Francisco in February of 1858 carrying some of this gold, the rush was on. James Moore, one of the first miners to reach the Fraser River, was attending a fire department meeting in San Francisco when he first heard the news. He and others were dispatched to British Columbia to report on the situation. Miners soon flocked to Victoria on their way to the Fraser River. Moore’s group, the first miners on the Fraser River, bypassed Victoria and went through Whatcom and Point Roberts to reach the Fraser in March of 1858. "[5.]

Location of the Hill's Bar. Source: Google Earth

An approximate location of the Hill's Bar: 49°32'00''N, 121°26'00''

"James Moore, who belonged to the first party of gold-hunters in the late spring of 1858, left the following account of the naming of Hill's Bar: '...we camped for lunch on a bar about ten miles from Hope to cook lunch, and while doing so one of our party noticed particles of gold in the moss that was growing on the rocks. He got a pan and washed a pan of this moss and got a good prospect, and after our gastric wants were satisfied we all prospected the bar and found it a rich bar of gold. With our crude mode of working with rockers we made on an average of 50 dollars per day to the man. We named this bar in honor of the man that washed the first pan of moss, Hill's Bar."[1.]

Total value of gold mined out at Hill's Bar was over $2 million back in 1858. It is important to note, that the price of one troy ounce of gold in 1858 was around $21, which means, that they were able to wash out more than 2 troy ounces a day per man. Over 95 000 troy ounces of gold was recovered, which is over $118 million with a today's price of gold ($1250 / toz).

To the Halkomelem Indians, Hill's Bar was Qualark, meaning it was "a good place to barbeque salmon heads."

sources:
1. G.P.V. Akrigg,  H.B. Akrigg, British Columbia Chronicle, 1847-1871, Gold and Colonists;
2. Howay, F.W., British Columbia: From the Earliest Times to the Present;
3. Howay, F.W., The Early History of the Fraser River Mines; Archives of British Columbia, Memoir Number 6, King’s Printer, Victoria;
4. British Columbia and Yukon Gold Hunters A History in Photographs, Donald E. Waite;
5. Miners at work, a history of British Columbia's Gold Rushes, B. Griffin Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, B.C.;
6. Sketch of part of British Columbia, by Lieut. R. C. Mayne, R.N., of H.M.S. "Plumper" 1859. About 2 miles to 1 inch. Author, Publisher, &c.: War Office, London. [British Columbia, 1859];
7.http://contentdm.library.uvic.ca/cdm/singleitem/collection/collection5/id/47/rec/5;
8. Akrigg, Helen B. and Akrigg, G.P.V; British Columbia Place Names; Sono Nis Press, Victoria 1986 /or University of British Columbia Press 1997
9. Wikipedia: Hill's bar