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The Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, (also called the "Fraser River Gold Rush" or just the "Fraser Gold Rush") was a major gold rush that started in 1858 and was primarily centered around the Thompson and Fraser Rivers in present-day British Columbia (at the time the territory was known as New Caledonia and then the Colony of British Columbia). The Fraser Gold Rush was the impetus for the founding of British Columbia and the settlement of the region, including New Westminster and Vancouver. Following less than 10 years after the 1849 California Gold Rush, the Fraser Gold Rush attracted many former prospectors from the San Francisco Bay Area. Perhaps most famous among these was Ned McGowan who would become embroiled in a relatively bloodless set of events known as McGowan's War. Gold mining in the region continued until circa 1927, but by 1860 the gold-bearing sandbars of the Fraser River had already been depleted and most of the miners left the region with many returning to the United States.