|Simon Fraser - Explorer|
|Fort Victoria viewed from Wharf Street|
|The layout of Fort Victoria|
|Sir James Douglas - First Governor of British Columbia|
|Fraser Gold Rush|
|Camels were brought as pack animals for the Cariboo Gold Rush. Unfortunately they did not do well in the BC climate.|
|Alexander Mackenzie - Explorer|
|Captain George Vancouver|
|Nootka Leaders Meet Captain James Cook|
- 1774 - Spanish Explorer Juan Perez Hernandez was probably the first European to see the coast of B.C.
- 1778 - Captain James Cook took his two ships into Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. With in a few years British traders came by sea and developed a flourishing fur trade with the Indigenous people of the west coast.
- 1792 - ships under Captain George Vancouver carried out a careful 3-year mapping of the coast from Oregon to Alaska. Vancouver named many of the bays, inlets and coastal landform features. In this period of worldwide European colonialism, there was no concern among European governments and businessmen that this area was already occupied by native peoples.
- 1793 - the first European report about the interior of BC was made by the Northwest Company fur trader, Alexander Mackenzie. He entered the region from the East via the Peace and Upper Fraser rivers, exploring westward across the Chilcotin Plateau and through the Coast Mountains to the long inlet at Bella Coola.
- 1808 - Simon Fraser reached the mouth of the Fraser River after exploring the length and extent of the river.
- 1811 - David Thompson found the mouth of the Columbia River, after exploring the river routes of southeastern BC.
- First half of the 19th century - the British-owned Hudson's Bay Company controlled the western fur trade, including the area of present-day Washington and Oregon. As American settlers moved into the southern part of this region in the 1830s, they refused to recognize the authority of the British company.
- 1843 - Hudson's Bay Company moved it's western headquarters to Fort Victoria on Vancouver Island.
- 1846 - Oregon Treaty established the border of BC on the 49th parallel, except for Vancouver Island.
- 1849 - British government granted Vancouver Island to the Hudson's Bay Company for colonization.
- 1851 - Sir James Douglas is named the first governor of Vancouver Island.
- 1852 - Doctor John Helmcken arrives at Fort Victoria - the first European doctor.
- 1856 - Douglas establishes a legislative assembly. Dr. Helmcken is named the first Speaker of the House.
- Mid 1800s - the only non-native settlements in what was to become British Columbia were fur trade posts on the coast, such as Victoria, Nanaimo and Fort Langley, and in the interior, such as Kamloops, Fort (later Prince) George and Fort St. James.
- 1858 - Gold discovered in the lower Fraser River. Thousands of fortune hunters, mainly from the California goldfields, but also from other parts of the world, came by boat from San Francisco, crowding into inadequate facilities in Victoria to buy supplies and receive permits. The town of Yale was established as a transshipping centre at the south end of Fraser Canyon and the eastern end of water transport from the Fraser River mouth. Gold seekers walked the tributaries of the Fraser River and major finds were made east of Quesnel.
- 1858 - In order to establish government and maintain law and order around the goldfields, the British established the mainland colony of British Columbia under the authority of James Douglas, who remained governor of Vancouver Island.
- 1859 - New Westminister was named the capital of the new colony. New Westminister controlled river traffic on the Fraser River en route to the interior.
- Early 1860's - The amazing feat of building the Cariboo Road along the walls of the Fraser Canyon was accomplished in order to move supplies to interior settlements.
- Early 1860s - The boomtown of Barkerville arose at the western edge of the Cariboo Mountains as the chief service town for the Cariboo goldfields. At its peak Barkerville probably held a fluctuating population of about 10,000, making it the largest settlement in western Canada.
- 1866 - The gold rush was waning so the British government combined the two colonies - Vancouver Island and British Columbia - to reduce administrative costs.
- 1867 - The debate began amongst the 12,000 non-Aboriginal residents of British Columbia on whether the colony should join in Confederation.
- 1871 - British Columbia joins Confederation and becomes part of Canada.