If Horatio Alger had imagined a female heroine in the same mold as one of the young male heroes in his rags-to-riches stories, she would have looked like Belinda Mulrooney. Smart, ambitious, competitive, and courageous, Belinda Mulrooney was destined through her legendary pioneering in the wilds of the Yukon basin to found towns and many businesses. She built two fortunes, supported her family, was an ally to other working women, and triumphed in what was considered a man's world.
When “California Fever” raced through southeastern Ohio in the spring of 1849, a number of residents of Athens County organized a cooperative venture for traveling overland to the mines. Known as the “Buckeye Rovers,” the company began its trip westward in early April. The Buckeye Rovers, along with thousands who traveled the overland route to California, endured numerous hardships and the seemingly constant threat of attacks from hostile Indians.
When gold was discovered in the Fraser River country of British Columbia in the 1850s, St. Paul, Minnesota became the departure point for the plunge westward, as was St. Louis for the American gold rushes. Minnesotans soon caught the fever. Nine young men set out in July of 1858 for the goldfields of British Columbia.