It's quite a long drive from nowhere but definitely gives an idea of what the early settlers had to put up with! Needless to say there is some amazing scenery.
Barkerville was a real surprise when we visited. It had an authentic gold rush feel to the place which wasn't dressed up but came across as how the town was back in the day.You can go into many of the buildings and the church was really interesting as it is still a working place of worship - there had just been a wedding there and we could hear the bagpipes and celebrations going on.You can pan for gold or take a ride on a horse drawn wagon. Great fun for all ages.
Barkerville deserves to be preserved for ever!!. It was a wonderful 2 days we spent there, on a road trip from Alaska to Washington. The history, the houses, the stories. I could write a very long review about all the actors who play 1860's characters but that would spoil the surprise. We really enjoyed the waterwheel, the school house, the street walks, Cariboo Cameron and the blacksmith shows. Do not miss this stop if you are on the Cariboo Highway.
What a nice way to end my time in Barkerville! I got to dress up as a Most Respectable Matron and they we able to make me look good doing it! I like their zippy upbeat attitude and well, just a 'thank you' to all of you! The lady photographer was very patient with me (I sometimes need a bit of time to do things as I'm not all that young anymore) and it was really appreciated.The photograph of my husband and me sits in a place of honour on our mantle here in Vancouver and it brings back wonderful memories of an incredible time in a place that's truly a 'step out of time' - and utterly amazing! I hope to visit your studio again one day and maybe I'll get to try on that dress again! Thank you !
We enjoyed the different displays and shops. It was everything we expected and more. As with many tourist attractions we found the photo studio very over priced. Still the photos we had done were great keepsakes of our visit. The actors were very knowledgable and made our visit all the more enjoyable.
To give you an idea how long it’s been since I last visited Barkerville, back then, it was free to enter. Yeah. I’m old. What’s changed since? Not much. A few more buildings, a few additional novelties, but it’s pretty much the same, part and parcel of being a historical town. It’s not like they can add a Ferris wheel or a castle…though a castle probably wouldn’t be the most anachronistic thing here. But I jumped the introduction. For most people, visiting Barkerville involves an extended drive marked by a bathroom break in Quesnel, because really, why does Quesnel exist other than to be a glorified rest stop? You either pee at the 7/11 on the way to Vancouver or you pee at the A&W on the way to Wells. There should be a sign, “Come for the piss, stay for the food.” Most of the restaurants aren’t much more than bathrooms with a fast-food joints attached. We entered Barkerville on a Saturday morning before 11 AM on a cool September morning. It was unsurprisingly sparse, the town shuts down after this month for the season. We figured the day would be engaging, and we’d leave at the town’s closing around 5:00. After wandering through a few buildings and promising to shop before we left, we found lunch at the Chinese restaurant, Long-Dong-something (I’ll review that separately). Afterward, we looked at our watch, it had just rolled past noon. After we skipped the theater and walked through every building we could, we wandered up to the Courthouse and back, about a 30 minute walk. Afterwards, I looked at my watch, 2:00. Wow, time moved slowly around here. We built stone towers by a brook and made for the other outlook for a nice view. 3:00, running out of things to do. Okay, we decided to go shopping finally and blew 50 bucks on fudge. My girlfriend bought two pieces of art from a local dealer. Finally, at 3:45, knowing we had seen pretty much everything, we decided to go to Wells early. And that really says it about Barkerville. It’s not like Disneyland where you need three full days to see everything. With Barkerville, you can walk slowly and still cover the whole thing in an afternoon. Very little has actually changed since last I was here...which I do imagine is pretty much the point. I mean it is a recommendation, just don’t expect any surprises. I do recommend following one of the tours though. And I do fully admit that during the peak season, this place is a lot livelier.But we did want to see Wells, which also claimed a historic district. I’m not sure it’s historic as more just Wells refusing to join the 21st century. There is no cell service anywhere. The one and only place I found wireless internet only offered 20 MB free before cutting me off, which basically meant downloading emails and getting one message off to a friend. Pooley St. is a modest little dated section of town that appears more like a 19th century Mexican village than a Canadian historic site. No cars and with the bright yellow hotel to my right, I had this overpowering inclination to walk down the middle of the street and wait for the shutters to slam closed as I passed. I wanted to whistle the theme from a Fistful of Dollars. Like Barkerville, there was little to no people around. I thought Wells had a population of about 50--I counted maybe twenty people wandering around the streets. I kind of liked Wells, though. It was a classic rural town with cute personalities and distracting primary colors. I asked three people to recommend a place to eat and they all agreed, the Bear Paw Cafe. I had been recommended the Big H’s Fish and Chips back home, but my girlfriend wasn’t feeling into halibut, unfortunate since the parking lot around the “H”s trailer (because that’s what it is, a trailer) was adorable. It was fringed by a classic “U”-shaped motel plucked right from the 60’s, and populated by classic cars. If I was a conspiracy nut, I’d think the wormhole from The Philadelphia Experiment had opened up, and if I fell into temptation to cross the threshold, I’d be enjoying fantastic fish and chips from 1955. Thankfully the Bear Paw was an adorable restaurant (reviewed separately).In conclusion, Barkerville is a quaint tourist attraction worthy of an afternoon augmented by a nice drive and a secondary attraction with surprising hidden value. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by English castles, just don’t expect anything world shattering.
You must make this a go to place while in beautiful British Columbia. The town is perfectly preserved and very active. Pan for gold while you are there,,get a feel for what really happened and how it was possible. I would return in a heartbeat!
Barkerville is a town in which the history of the goldrush of the past is vividly brought back to live. The actors, houses, "old"equipment, shows, shops, hotels, postoffice make you feel that history is alive around you. Very, very special and certainly worth a visit if you''re travelling BC as it is an important part of the history of this part of Canada..
Of all the many historic towns we have visited throughout North America, Barkerville is in a class by itself. It is a true historic town which never was a ghost town, as some of the buildings were occupied all along from its creation to today. None of the buildings were moved in any way, and none look like they were modernized for the tourists. Now Barkerville is a seasonal town with most of the businesses in full operation in the summer. We were hesitant to make the detour from Quesnel to Barkerville as we expected nothing but a tourist attraction. What we found surprised us so much that we ended up spending two full days in the town, and plan to come back.The town is filled with staff acting as "towns folk" in historic attire, fulfilling jobs and roles as they would have 130 years ago. We tried to catch some of them "off guard" but never could. They were very knowledgeable and incredibly good in their roles.We highly recommend Barkerville to anyone who is interested in the gold rush and related history.
Although the site was being prepared for the winter, I was allowed to wander about the village and take photos of interesting buildings etc.
Barlerville is one of the still operating historic sites in British Columbia. Lots of hands on things to do and see. The tours of this town are a must. Take the stage coach tour see the court house and chat with the magistrate. The Goldrush never ended for this town. It is amazing the amount of earth these hearty men move by hand. Often working straight thru the harse Canadian winter.
I love to ski through the town site in winter, eat my way through the bakery, sweet shop and Lung Duck Tong in summer and hike through in the fall...one can never see it all in one visit as there is so much to see, do and learn here. Highly recommended!