Barkerville had a strong Chinese community. "Chinatown" consisted mainly of small shacks warmed by wood stoves; there was also a laundry and at least one gambling den.
The Chinese men - and a few women and children - were used to farming, so they raised pigs and chickens and grew vegetables in their backyards.
Mining wasn't the only work done by members of the Chinese community. Other occupations included doctors, herbalists, lodging-house keepers, storekeepers, restaurant owners, and cooks.
There were several active Chinese organizations loosely based on clan affiliation and birthplace, including the Chee Kung Tong, the Tsang Shang District Association, and Oylin Fangkou.
These organizations existed to help their members when they were sick or in distress. They also provided friendship and entertainment, and helped people communicate with their families in China.
The Chinese community was so well organized, it was able to stage two Chinese operas in Barkerville in 1872!
The Barkerville Chinese community also participated in the activities of the community at large. In 1869 they erected an arch at the entrance of Chinatown to welcome visiting Governor Musgrave, and prepared a speech "to offer you a cordial welcome, and to assure you of our loyalty and devotion to the Government of Her Most Gracious Majesty, the Queen".