It’s 1862. You are hand-digging through layers of soggy, worthless, frustrating gravel, hoping and praying the next shovel-stroke will expose a fortune in gold. Everyone says it’s crazy, but there’s too much at stake. Then, just when the outcome seems impossibly bleak, at a depth of 52 feet the ground begins to pay. The lead is struck, and the greatest creek side placer gold deposit the world has ever seen is suddenly yours for the taking. This is Barkerville’s story.
British Columbia’s central interior has been profoundly shaped by gold thanks to a simple, working-class English prospector named William ‘Billy’ Barker who, in 1862, spearheaded a twenty-year, multi-billion dollar industrial revolution that literally helped build a Province. Wells
Today, the extraordinary town of Barkerville (named in Billy’s honour) still stands as testament to BC’s golden beginnings. With a unique streetscape of 125+ heritage buildings, authentic displays, satellite museums, restaurants, shops and accommodations there is still so much to explore. Declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1924 and a Provincial Heritage Property in 1958, Barkerville is now the largest living-history museum in western North America, where exciting seasonal events and fun-filled daily activities await.
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