Gerry Boyce's involvement with the Belleville area includes 32 years in education, and key roles in establishing the Hastings County Historical Society and two county museums. Boyce currently serves as Heritage Advisor and workshop coordinator for the Hastings County Historical Society's Heritage Centre. He lives in Belleville.
Where did Ontarioâ€™s first gold rush take place? Not, as you might think, in the Kirkland Lake or Timmins areas of Northern Ontario, but in the Madoc-Eldorado area of Hastings County, less than an hourâ€™s drive from busy Highway 401.
The discovery was made in August 1866. Thousands of miners and speculators soon arrived from British Columbia, California and elsewhere. They included "Cariboo" Cameron of British Columbia mining fame.
To preserve law and order the Canadian government set up a special mounted police force (two of whose members were arrested for robbery before their training was complete.)
This book explores the events of the Madoc Gold Rush, explains some of its touching, humorous and tragic moments, and relates the hitherto untold story of the mounted police.