WELLS, pop 236 (2006), 80 km east of QUESNEL in the CARIBOO, sprang into being in 1933 after Fred Wells, a prospector, finally struck GOLD. His Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine gave birth to a company town that had a population of 4,000 by the end of the decade. The mine continued to operate until 1967; unlike nearby BARKERVILLE the town has remained a functioning community, if much diminished from its heyday, with a thriving arts and crafts community.

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