When Billy Barker struck gold on Williams Creek in 1862 he probably couldn’t have predicted how many thousands of prospectors would travel great distances for a shot at becoming rich. Barkerville boomed between 1862 and 1870, with more than 100,000 people traveling on the Cariboo Wagon Road to work on the gold fields. Barkerville was once a bustling city filled with traffic, people, excitement and optimism — it didn’t take long to become the largest city west of Chicago and north of San Francisco. The historic town of Barkerville is now BC’s largest living museum and hosts more that 65,000 guests throughout the summer. Walk down the streets where miners once walked, take a stagecoach ride, and interact with the costumed interpretive staff. The Chinese community was an integral part of Barkerville life for nearly 100 years. They established a number of businesses, including the Kwong Lee Company, a general store that sold groceries, clothing, hardware, and mining tools. The Chinese community also built cabins for Chinese miners and Tai Ping (the “Peace Room”) a nursing facility for the elderly. Visiting Barkerville is truly like going back in time, with more than 125 heritage buildings, live theatre and demonstrations. History will truly come to life as you explore what Barkerville has to offer.


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