Levi, Solomon David
S. D. Levi was part of a Jewish, merchant community that supplied goods to the Cariboo gold fields.1 Originally from San Francisco,2 Levi partnered with John Boas, as general-provisions merchants, and he made his fortune in the famished Cariboo region.3 A letter from the area described the conditions: People above are nearly starving, and thousands are rushing back to save them[selves] from famine. The only parties that have anything to sell are Levi and Boas, and they are making a heap of money.4
As one of the few vendors with provisions, Levi left Barkerville as one of the richest merchants, with $20,000 in 1862,5 but the journey back was difficult. When he left Quesnel Forks for New Westminster, the temperature was at -27 degrees Celsius and a metre of snow forced him to follow the trail close to the Fraser River.6
After leaving the Cariboo region and New Westminster, Levi moved his family to Nanaimo, where he was a charter member of the Nanaimo Freemasons Lodge, no. 3, and Caledonia Lodge, no. 6.7 Unfortunately, three of Levi's four children died within nine days of each other in 1875, and were brought down to Victoria to be buried in the Jewish cemetery.
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