Fort Rupert (1849-185?) - Constructed by Captain William Henry McNeill in 1849. It was named after Prince Rupert of the Rhine. The fort was a station for the northern region of the Hudson's Bay Company's Pacific Coast trade and was to be a mining center.
The first recorded shipment of coal - dug from the surface with axes - was in 1846. Miners were brought from Scotland to work, it took them six months to make the journey to Victoria around Cape Horn. From there it took nearly a month to reach the mine area in the fall of 1849. The Gold Rush drew them away and in 1851 more miners and equipment were brought from Britain but very shortly after that the mining came to a standstill because larger and better deposits of coal were discovered in Nanaimo. The fort was then closed.