Gold rush lottery ticket

Gold rush lottery ticket with Neversweat claim in background (BC Lottery Corp)

If you are at a lottery counter in BC, take a close look at the Gold Rush lottery tickets. Different historical photographs are printed on each ticket. One background features a reproduction of the “Neversweat” claim shown below.

The Neversweat claim on Williams Creek (near Barkerville) yielded $250,000 from a depth of 120 feet. Gold miners worked under arduous conditions; cold water often dripped from leaky flumes and saturated their clothes. Wages at the time were $8 to $10 a day; half of which was spent on food sold at exorbitant prices.

In the photograph you can see one Chinese miner. The British Columbia census of 1871 counted 1,548 Chinese in Barkerville of which only 53 were women, but by the late 1870s, Chinese families began to arrive in the Cariboo.

There were many ways to get gold that was deep in the ground. One of the options was to dig a tunnel horizontally into the side of a hill or at the bottom of a gulch or a ravine.  The sides and the roof of the tunnel had to be supported against cave-ins by the use of heavy timbers.  Rock and gravel would be removed from the tunnel using either wheelbarrows, or a narrow track of rails and a rail car.