“Barkerville was the main town of the Cariboo Gold Rush in British Columbia, Canada, and is preserved as a historic town. It is located on the north slope of the Cariboo Plateau near the Cariboo Mountains 80 kilometres east of Quesnel. Wikipedia”
Back in elementary school, I remembered learning about the gold rush and how it contributed to the discovery of towns in British Columbia. For some unknown reason, Barkerville jumped from my textbook pages and embedded itself into my mind. I wanted to go there. I was in Grade 4 and my 10 year old self really had no idea how…..
Barkerville, Here I Come!
This year, as part of my summer vacation, I finally made it! Apparently, the children haven’t learned about Barkerville! What a treat!
Barkerville was once a flourishing gold rush town back in the . Due to the poor living conditions back in their homeland of Canton (present-day Guangzhou), China, huge numbers of Chinese male workers left to come here to make a living. Therefore, one of the world’s oldest Chinatown developed.
First, we followed along the tour guide for a little bit, then we passed by a restaurant! I just had to have the full Chinatown experience. According to the tour guide, Cantonese was the language spoken and not Mandarin, because the workers were from Cantonese. As I was fluent in both, I was able to read and understand the different translations. So, after I finished my lunch, (the hot and sour soup was very yummy), I took a look around the restaurant. The photographs with its captions told their stories well.
The blacksmith shop was right in the middle of the town. You would hear the constant hammering of the blacksmith hard at work. Yes, he was really forging souvenirs that could be used. I bought a drink holder!
The Goldfield Bakery smelled so delicious! With its freshly baked loaves of bread and enormous cinnamon buns. There were a couple small tables and chairs for visitors to hang out.
One of my favourite things to do in historical museums was to pick up some old fashioned sweets. It’s great to see some familiar candies there at the candy shop.
As I walked around and entering different houses, I came across this lovely stove. There were a few houses that had employees “living” in them. In one house, a lady in costume was actually baking and making food in the oven. Amazing!
Then, we walked by another office building. A former teacher was dressing up as a miner and gave us some interesting info about gold. He showed us “fool’s gold” and real gold. Do you know what “fool’s gold” is?
This church looked like the picture in my textbook back then! It was raining for a bit, but there were still visitors wandering on the muddy paths. Imagine back in those days with no umbrellas and no rubber boots…
This stove was heating up the church.
The actors and actresses were singing and striking up conversations that would have happened in the gold rush days.
The King House Bed and Breakfast
I discovered that there was a bed and breakfast that was actually in business! Talk about a genuine gold rush town experience! Next time I would love to spend a night here. (Check out what Barkerville would be like on Halloween 🎃! Click here!)
Gold Rush Time
For $8, we got to pan for real gold flakes! The gentleman showed us the official way of rinsing and swirling the pebbles and gravel in our pans. It was hard work! We were able to pan some nice flakes of gold. Afterwards, they put them into little glass vials for us to take home.
Barkerville Brewing Company
After leaving Barkerville, we stopped at the Barkerville Brewing Company for a quick bite and a flight of beers. I didn’t drink beer, but I enjoyed the atmosphere there.
It was a wonderful day at Barkerville!! I hope that I will come back soon someday!
Park Information (from website):
Barkerville Historic Town & Park
14301 Hwy 26 E.
Box 19, Barkerville, BC