Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Visit to Barkerville

Just before heading in to Barkerville, we visited Wells. It's quite the artsy town. We only went in to one gallery since time was of the essence and, being the nosy curious person that I am, I asked the artist how long she had been there. You see, Wells is small place and quite off the beaten track. She said that she had lived there for four years. I then asked her where she was from originally. Turns out that she was from Malaysia, had lived in 5 different cities in 5 different countries. She and her partner/ husband/ significant other came to Wells on February 14th, fell in love with the place (in the snow) and decided to stay. Weird is what I thought. Well, actually, I wondered what they were running away from.

I like murals and this was in Wells. Actually quite a few of the buildings are painted in wonderful bright colours. I bought a postcard showing the buildings and therefore have no pictures of them to show you.

This old truck made the brochure on Wells. It's on the road to Barkerville. I have mentioned that I like old vehicles.

Speaking of vehicles, this old buggy was at the entrance to Barkerville.

And so was this little ground squirrel.

Here I am with my son-in-law just entering the historic town of Barkerville. These sites give a much better history on the old gold mining town than I can give you:

Since both my daughter and her husband work in the mining industry, we had to go and see the interpretive show that was being put on for the visitors. The Cornish Waterwheel is the power source that moved the water and gold out of the deep diggings and was used in the area right into the 20th century. This guy played the owner of the mine who was looking for financing.

This old guy gave some comic relief to the telling of the story of how the gold gets taken out of the ground.

He was quite an agile old coot and would climb up the Cornish Waterwheel quite nimbly.

Not all of the interiors of the buildings were accessible but here's the inside one of the old buildings. Note the utility quilt. 

Another bedroom. I had to have a picture of the quilt.

And one of the library.

This photo, of course, is my blog header. Of the 130 buildings on the site, 100 are originals. The building on the right can be seen here in a BC archival photo. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.)
The sidewalks are raised, as are the buildings because in the spring, the river overflows and floods the streets. It leaves a lot of silt and rocks behind and therefore, the buildings were always being jacked up. One of the street interpreters said that archeologists wanted to see if they could find the original footings. The theatre's original footings were 18 feet below the ground level at present.

I loved the similarities of these two houses.

Now we get into the artsy sepia tones.

Day two started out with a general tour with Shorty, our guide, and one of the street interpreters in period costume.

At one time, half the population was Chinese and the town was segregated. On our first night visiting Barkerville we ate at a Chinese restaurant that was still in operation. The Chinese area was down the street and there was a sort of crude archway as the boundary.

Another street interpreter.

Some of the businesses that they would have had "back in the day."

With mining comes the assay office. This office serviced many areas.

This was a great stagecoach and I wish I could have had a ride in it. I guess I will just have to go back again.

And here's where we stayed. I did mention that we camped overnight and saw Barkerville in two days didn't I? It was rustic and the evening was cool/cold but I was well dressed in fleece. I preferred it to Toronto's hot, humid muggy temperatures.

Actually, here's our campsite. Keeping both tents dry is the big tarp. There was rain at night but I didn't hear it. We had to wait until the rain stopped to set everything up. I think the last time I had camped was with Laila on our 2004 road trip. I love it because I don't cook outdoors. Not even coffee - but I do the dishes.


  1. Amazing selection of pictures, sounds like a wonderful trip.
    So glad you shared your experience.

  2. Thanks for showing the pics - looks
    very interesting.

  3. Barkerville looks like a fun getaway, something different. My dad took a trip out that way years ago hunting for gold.


  4. I think to do the dishes was a small price to pay :-)
    love seeing all your pics Dolores.... x x x
    Maybe you should have taken your wellies too.

  5. Really enjoyed your lovely photos of the trip Dolores. The cowboy films have certainly got their scenery authentic. I liked the bit about the river overflowing in spring and the pavements having to be raised. I have never been camping in my life. It looks like fun but probably has a lot of drawbacks.


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