In 1858, Charles Oppenheimer makes his way north from California toward the “new El Dorado” as the Frasier River became known. Charles establishes a provisions store in Victoria, British Columbia to outfit the prospectors heading up into the interior searching for gold. A year later, his brothers Godfrey, Isaac and David join him and open a branch of Oppenheimer Bros. & Co. in Fort Yale. Not long afterward, a third location was opened in Barkerville to supply those heading to the Cariboo gold rush.
Over the next 20 years, the brothers establish themselves as business and community leaders. In 1887, they open Vancouver’s first brick building, a wholesale grocery warehouse. That same year, David Oppenheimer becomes the city’s second mayor.