William Pinchbeck (William Pinchbeck)

William Pinchbeck

Canadian Frontier Figure. Born in Yorkshire, England, he was one of the original settlers in the Cariboo Region of British Columbia, Canada. In 1849, he came to California, with his two brothers to mine gold and ended up operating a hotel in San Francisco. After deciding that the gold rush was more hype than reality, he moved to Victoria, Canada and  joined the new police force in the city. By 1860, he settled and help found Williams Lake, British Columbia and was named Chief Constable to the Gold Commissioner in charge of maintaining the peace in the region. In partnership with Thomas Meldrum and William Lyne, he formed the Pinchbeck Company, built a roadhouse, a general store, mills, a distillery and a race track. The horse races often drew large crowds of spectators and  some of the biggest races set stakes as high as a $100,000. Pinchbeck’s company  eventually owned most of the Williams Lake Valley, his roadhouse and distillery prospered. By the late 1880s, Pinchbeck had sole ownership of the entire valley but with the gold rush long past and with no major roads running near Williams Lake, his businesses were no longer profitable. He died at age 62 and was buried in a plot on the ranch overlooking Williams Lake. (bio by: John “J-Cat” Griffith)  Family links:  Children:  Frederick William Pinchbeck (1887 – 1965)* *Calculated relationship


  • January, 01, 1970


  • July, 07, 1893


  • Pinchbeck Gravesite, Williams Lake Stampede Ground
  • Canada

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