David William Higgins
David William Higgins, born in Halifax in 1834, arrived at Fort Victoria on Vancouver Island in 1858. He was among the first of some 30,000 men stampeding to a gold rush on a little-known river called the Fraser. Like virtually all other stampeders, however, he discovered that placer mining involved a maximum of work for a minimum of gold. But unlike the most if the newcomers who left by autumn, he remained in B.C. all of his life, becoming one of the province’s best known pioneer residents.Higgins died in 1917 at 83. In addition to his two books and tens of thousands of words about the province’s pioneer people and events, Higgins left another memorial of the pre-1900s era. In 1885 in Victoria he had built one of the city’s finest homes called Regent’s Park House, it included seventeen rooms, eight fireplaces and a grand staircase. Fortunately, it has survived. Today it is an official heritage house, open to the public, and a bridge back to the province’s gold-rush era that Higgins knew so well.