Sunday, August 31, 2014

Side trip to Barkerville

We’ve been following the Milepost book from the time we crossed the border in Montana. It has led us on some incredible journeys to some fascinating places, so when we read about the town of Barkerville, we knew we had to take this side trip. Barkerville was the site of the biggest gold find in British Columbia, named after Billy Barker who, with his partner, made the discovery.

It’s 51 miles from the junction of the Cariboo Highway to Barkerville.  First we come to Cottonwood, a restored village on the gold trail.

We decide to camp in Wells, a short distance away from the town site we are seeking.  After setting up the rig and a quick lunch, we are off to see Barkerville.

We soon learn that there are over 130 buildings here that have been restored, some are open for walking thru while others have view ports to see in.  There are some business operating in town and all the townspeople are in period costume.


The approved method of transportation is by horse and buggy,but this fellow looked so tired, he was resting his head on the bar he was tied to.

Next we looked into one of the cabins, next door was the bookmakers shop.

Down the street a bit was the theater.

The we came to the Chinese portion of the town.  Lots of Chinese worked in the mines but a few were shopkeepers.  There was even a school just for the Chinese kids.

Jon is trying to figure out how this water wheel works.

This lovely lass, in period costume, related how Barkerville came to be and how the gold was followed up the rivers from southern British Columbia to the mother lode.

Then she told us about the waterwheel.  She is the owner of the mine, the waterwheel is used to haul the gravel up where it is poured into a sluice box, water added and the gold nuggets picked out.

The randy looking fellow is one of her mine workers.  Here they are looking for investors so they can continue working the mine.

The Barkerville choir, and below is the cemetery.

By now it is almost 6pm, we’ve wandered all over town, in and out of shops (the bakery, the post office and the general store), listened to costumed villagers explain and regale us with tales of Barkerville.  It’s been a great day, we are bone weary by the time we get back to the trailer.

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