Towns

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Richfield

Barkerville

Cameron-
town

Van Winkle

Bibliography


Barkerville

BC ARCHIVES F-07013
General view of Barkerville

The Cariboo Wagon Road, started at Yale in 1862, reached Barkerville in 1864.

The town of Barkerville is at the far end of the Cariboo Wagon Road, the last stop on the stagecoach journey from Yale.

Barkerville was named in 1863 for Billy Barker (1817-1894).
BC ARCHIVES A-01144
Billy Barker

Barker struck gold on Williams Creek, making the most famous claim of the Cariboo - Barker eventually made $500,000!

At first, the town was just collection of miners' cabins and a few stores. Then, thousands of miners rushed to the town to look for claims as good as Barker's, and the town of Barkerville was born.

Barkerville became the largest mining town to be built in British Columbia. At its peak during 1863-1864, the town held about 10,000 people, almost half of whom were miners working claims in the area.
BC ARCHIVES A-03786
Barkerville sidewalks

Because Williams Creek sometimes flooded their town, merchants in Barkerville built their stores and businesses on log posts. To get from one building to another, each built a sidewalk in front of their store.

This is how one frequent visitor described Barkerville:

"It was as lively a mining town as has ever existed in any gold-producing country the world has yet seen, not even excepting the famed and more modern Dawson City, product of the Klondike excitement. It had the usual gaming rooms, dance halls, saloons, etc., that figure in every camp, but it also possessed a host of sound legitimate businesses."

BC ARCHIVES F-02310
St. Saviour's Anglican Church

Most of the stores and businesses of Barkerville were built in a row along Main Street.

There was the Wake Up Jake restaurant and Lung Duck Tong restaurant, a hotel, rooming houses, a bakery, a barbershop run by Wellington Moses, a Hudson's Bay Company office, several Chinese shops, a few doctor's offices, St. Saviour's Anglican Church, and a bowling alley. The printing press for the Cariboo Sentinel was in Barkerville; this newspaper was an important source of news throughout the Cariboo.

BC ARCHIVES F-08566
Barkerville after the Fire
The town of Barkerville burned down in 1868. Barkerville started rebuilding the day after the first fire, but already the goldrush was dwindling and the town never regained its former glory.


Richfield Camerontown


Last updated December 1st, 1998.
Produced by Carollyne Yardley
Industrial Art Internet Group Ltd. 1998-1999