The Bible Society's first work in British Columbia was during the Gold Rush of 1858-1861, when the Upper Canada Bible Society sent Scriptures in several languages to miners panning gold on the Fraser and other rivers. The Upper Canada Bible Society maintained an interest in the area and in 1863 sent a Bible Society agent to organize Bible Society Branches. This was before the cross-Canada railway was built, so the agent travelled by way of Panama and San Francisco. In 1899 a Branch began in Vancouver and, as interest increased, the District was established in 1908. Distribution was a major aspect of the work.