By 1865, Richfield, Cameronton and Barkerville had grown from small mining camps to thriving gold rush communities. In July, 1865, a notice appeared in the Cariboo Sentinel from the gold commissioner, W. G. Cox to obtain proposals from interested parties to build the Richfield to Cameronton Wagon Road, twelve feet wide with pull-outs.
Founded by John “Cariboo” Cameron, the town of Cameronton had many businesses including:
- The Pioneer Hotel, owned by Anne Cameron (no relation to John) which was the oldest established hotel on Williams Creek. In conjunction with the hotel was a bar and restaurant where “hot and cold suppers could be had at all hours.”
- The Colonial Hotel and Restaurant owned by “Madame James James”
- John Bowron operated the Reading Room which functioned as a private library for its members.
- The Gazelle Saloon, owned by Adler and Barry, featured two large billiard tables and a bar with “Liquor and Segars of the finest quality.”
- Prager & Brother’s store which sold groceries, provisions, liquors and “segars” (cigars)
- Lions & Dodero owned a miners’ provisions store that sold liquors, provisions, groceries, clothing, hardware, medicines, drugs and miners tools “the cheapest prices on the [Williams] Creek”