Barkerville’s longest running gold rush newspaper, the Cariboo Sentinel, was first published in June 1865 under the watchful eye of its owner and editor, George Wallace. Each issue was about four letter-sized pages, printed on a well-travelled French press that Wallace had brought with him to Barkerville. The Cariboo Sentinel proved to be both popular and profitable for Wallace.
George Wallace was born in Boston in 1833 and it is believed that he was a newspaper correspondent for the Toronto Globe before he came to British Columbia with a group of Overlanders in 1862. Upon arriving, Wallace went to Victoria where he worked as a correspondent for the British Colonist.
The early gold rush years in British Columbia were a boon time for newspapers. Between 1858 and 1864, ten newspapers were started in Victoria, half of them dailies.
In 1863, Wallace and Charles Allan (who had also worked for the Colonist) established a newspaper in New Westminster, The Daily Evening Express, which ran from April, 1863 to February, 1865.
After earning a profit of $3,500, Wallace sold the Cariboo Sentinel in 1866 and he left Barkerville to start another newspaper, The Tribune, in Yale.
The Cariboo Sentinel was published for another ten years, until 1875.