Barkerville Historic Town was on my list of places to visit in 2015. As a child I visited Barkerville a handful of times and each visit left me with happy memories of gold panning, dressing up in historical costumes, eating hard-rock candy and exploring a whole community of historical houses. Barkerville is unique in that it has over one hundred historical structures that are intact. The town was established during the gold rush of the mid-1800s and was named after Billy Barker who was the first miner to strike gold in the area. From the mid-1800s until the mid-1900s Barkerville went through several periods of growth and decline which were largely influence by mining in the area.
There is so much to see and do in Bakerville but my favourite part of visiting this historic town is interacting with the street actors. The actors make the town come alive, and give you a sense of what it might have been like living in this tumultuous mining town. We had the opportunity to attend school with Professor Duds and take part in an investment meeting with Mr. Grumbsby and Mr. Cruikchank, owners of Sheepskin Claim.
Barkerville has several stores, a couple restaurants and a bakery. Because this is a tourist attraction, and it is somewhat out of the way, prices tend to be on the higher side. The are some beautiful locally made items in the stores but be sure to double check tags and labels. I was disappointed to see that many items were imported from other countries. Also, I suggest packing a lunch and taking advantage of the picnic tables located just inside the town entrance. There are even carts available for transporting your picnic lunch that are near the entrance. We also explored one of the several trails near the town which provided several great viewpoints along the way. Just be sure to stick to the trail and watch out for stinging nettle which my youngest accidentally walked through.
After our afternoon of exploring Barkerville my young children were tuckered out. There was still plenty to explore and see and our entry tickets even allowed us to return the next day free. If you are traveling from afar, and have older children, visiting Barkerville over a couple days would be a great idea and I would highly suggest it. There is even the nearby Cottonwood House to explore as well as the Bowron Lake Provincial Park.
For more information about the Barkerville Historic Town visit their website.