Wright, G. B.
b. 1830-06-22
d. 1898-04-08
Gustavus Blinn Wright was a surveyor and merchandiser in the Cariboo.1 He arrived in British Columbia in 1858 where he began packing supplies on the Harrison-Lillooet trail.2 Wright became a prominent figure in the field and by 1862, he was one of three contractors awarded a contract to build the Cariboo Road.3 He became embroiled in controversy when he chose to divert from the original route for the road, opting instead to have it pass nearer to a roadhouse he had purchased in Deep Creek.4 The owners of the roadhouses in Williams Lake accused him of deviating the road's path for his own benefit, but colonial officials ultimately sided with Wright.5 After the completion of the project, officials awarded him further road construction, as well as rail surveying, contracts, despite ongoing complaints that the government was biased in Wright's favour.6 Wright further contributed to the development of the Kootenay Region by opening the first general stores in Revelstoke and Ainsworth, as well as some of the first major mines in the area.7
Little is known about Wright's early life, apart from his time spent as a placer-miner in California during the 1850s.8 In the 1870s, Wright occasionally wintered in Portland, Oregon, where he met his wife Julia Anna Sutton, with whom he had three children.9
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