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Catherine Schubert crosses the Rockies in 1862

In 1862, Catherine Schubert embarked on an epic trek from the prairies and into Canadian history. Traveling in search of Cariboo gold with the "Overlanders" of 1862, Schubert endured a 2,000-kilometre trek from Fort Garry (now Winnipeg) into British Columbia, becoming the first white woman to cross the Rocky Mountains. The lone woman traveling with dozens of men, she endured all the hardships of a brutal journey that claimed many lives while also caring for her three young children. CBC Radio's Assignment brings you the tale of a heroine in Canadian history.
• Catherine Schubert was four months pregnant when the Overlanders set out in June 1862. Her daughter Rose arrived on October 13. Delivered with the help of native women, Rose was the first child of European descent born in British Columbia.
  • The Schubert family never struck gold in B.C., but prospered on a farm in the Okanagan Valley. Catherine had two more children and moved the family to Armstrong, B.C. after her husband's death in 1908. She survived him by 10 years.

• Six men died on the Overlanders' journey. Four were killed when their raft overturned on the Fraser River another two drowned on the rapids of the Thompson River.

Medium: Radio
Program: Assignment
Broadcast Date: May 14, 1957
Narrator: Cam Langford
Duration: 7:20

Last updated: May 10, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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