August 1864: Gold Discovery at Leech River on Vancouver Island

The Industry Company: In the summer of 1864, four men, Samuel Booth, George Munro, John Tyrel and William Dyer discovered gold on the Leech River, about 40 miles west of Victoria. On August 4, 1864 the local newspaper reported “This splendid specimen of gold appears to be entirely pure. On being weighed it was declared to contain 4 ounces, 6 dwts, or $73.20!!”  The 4 men formed the Industry Company.
Unlike the distant Fraser and Caribou gold finds, prospectors could travel from Victoria overland by trail or by steamer within a day. Stores, hotels and other mining-related businesses were quickly established but within 18 months were abandoned.