June 25, 2012 | Tips from Travellers >
Quesnel, Historic & Heritage Sites
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There is gold in the hills! Come on out to try your luck at striking it rich in Barkerville!
While it may be 150 years since Barkerville became a town, named after the now famed gold miner named Billy Barker, people still flock from all over the world to try their luck at finding gold. But while this gold may only be a few small fragments in your pan as you try your luck in Barkerville, the thril is still just the same when you get to go home with a little vial to show for your efforts. Barkerville is a town of so much history since 1862 when there were, in today's standards, millions of dollars taken out of the hills surrounding the area. The gold rush was a magnificent boom for the region which brought many people and their families to the area.
Today, Barkerville remains open as a historical site for thousands of people to visit each year to pan for gold, take a horse-drawn carriage ride throughout the town, watch some incredible live theatre, singers in the streets, dressing up in period clothing and taking a black-and-white photo home as a souvenir, and numerous other great activities. One of the best bakeries of any period definitely must be Goldfield's Bakery located right on main street where they have some of the best baked goods that I can remember. Along with the House Hotel Coffee Saloon, Lung Duck Tong Restaurant, and Wake Up Jakes, nobody will go hungry in this old gold mining town.
Louis Blanc Photography is very neat photography shop where you can dress up in period clothing, grab yourself a gold pan, a rifle, or an assortment of other props, and have a great memorable photo taken of your group so you won't soon forget the day. The Mason and Daly General Store provides you with some of the best sweets that anyone can be pleasured to enjoy; often causing me to stock up on multiple different candies, fudge and treats to last me a very long time. After all these sweets, you may need to stop into the local dentist to have some work done; so it's wise to watch how many sweets you do consume because the gentleman sitting in the chair getting his tooth pulled out doesn't look like he is having much fun.
One of the best adventures of the day definitely must be the stop at the school house where the old schoolmarm with teach you the proper way to write your cursive writing; and if you don't follow the rules, you may find yourself scolded by the teacher or a slap on the wrist, which will teach you to listen. This day at school gets you thinking that we don't have it too bad today or anything to complain about when we go to school; might as well enjoy it a little.
For the brave and adventurous at heart you can spend the night right in Barkerville at the Kelly and King House or the St. George Hotel. Make your stay in Barkerville perfectly unique and give yourself something to talk about for quite some time by staying over-night and taking advantage of the full experience. The steep narrow stairs in all of these buildings really gets you to enjoy the houses we have today. These owners will make your stay so pleasant and maybe evening convincing you to spend a few nights.
While in Barkerville, don't hesitate to stray off main street a little and check out the adjacent streets with all the other buildings, the water wheel, and shops. Just off main street I found a wonderful little woodwork shop and bought myself an old wooden top, that even provides someone like myself well past my childhood years to a long enjoyable time. Go and visit the amazing church, and if you have the time, go and visit the old graveyard up on the hill where Billy Barker himself and many other fellow miners rest today.
Barkerville provides endless opportunities for fun and adventure for any age and I hope to return again this year. Perhaps I will try to get down to enjoy the full festivities of Dominion Day in Barkerville, celebrating on July 1st. Make your way down there and strike gold - in the form of endless memories.