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The shaft did not pay off quickly and as winter drew nearer the miners began to wonder if they had the right location. Meanwhile the Camerons had another child; but it was stillborn and Sophia became ill...never to recover.

"Mrs. Cameron died at 3 a.m. on October 23, 1862. Richfield was the name of the mining town where she passed away. Cameron and I were the only persons present at the time. Poor Cameron! The morning Mrs. Cameron died was intensely cold, the thermometer standing at thirty degrees before zero, and a wind blowing at the rate of sixty miles an hour. As there were no undertakers in Cariboo, I went away and engaged Griffin to make a coffin, and Henry Lightfoot of Vankleek Hill made the case." R. Stevenson.

Of the five thousand people on the creek in the summer of '62 only ninety-seven remained to be at her funeral that October.

John was shattered. He threw himself into work at the mine and vowed that come spring and better fortune he would carry out the last wish of Sophia; to be buried at "home" in Canada West. Her body was placed in a tin casket inside a wooden coffin and buried temporarily under an abandoned cabin in Richfield.

Exactly two months later, three days before Christmas, the Cameron Co. struck paydirt...

"On December 22 we struck it very rich at twenty-two feet. Dick Rivers was in the shaft and William Halpenny and I were at the windlass. Cameron had just come down from Richfield to see how we were getting on, when Rivers called up from the bottom "Cameron or Stevenson - come down here at once - the place is yellow with gold! Look here boys!" R. Stevenson

By the end of February, Cameron a wealthy but grieving man decided to head for Victoria. He offered twelve dollars a day and a $2,000 bonus to any man who would help him make the trip down. Twenty-two men signed up. Their journey took them through virtual wilderness: snowdrifts up to twelve feet deep, mountains, dense forest, often without a trail, with temperatures as cold as fifty below zero; dragging the coffin on an awkward toboggan heaped with blankets, food and 50 lb. of gold. To add to their formidable task, was the ever-present danger of smallpox.

On March 7, 1863, having travelled approximately 600 miles, they finally reached their destination. Here Sophia had a well-attended funeral, was preserved in alcohol in preparation for the long voyage back east, and re-buried.

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