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Troops on their way to relieve Hill's Bar on Fraser River

Royal Engineers recreate 1859 march that ended McGowan's War and kept brand-new colony intact

2009.01.02 — On January 18, members of the Royal Engineers Living History Group will recreate the company's march to relieve the community of Hill's Bar, threatened by a ragtag militia of American miners in what became known as McGowan’s War, a little-known conflict in BC history that threatened to deliver the newly-minted Crown Colony of British Columbia into the hands of American annexationists.

The Royal Engineers will start their march at daybreak (about 7:30 a.m.) at Emory Bar, between Hope and Yale, where the Royal Engineers start their journey in 1859. They will arrive in Yale at about noon for a greeting ceremony, inspection and a demonstration for the public. A one-act play, The Trial of Ned McGowan, will be staged in St. John the Divine church.

The events of 1859 are recounted in Donald Hauka's book McGowan's War. For more information about the recreation, see the Yale District and Historical Society and the New Pathways To Gold Society websites. "