Activities

Daily Programs

Let our colourful and knowledgeable historical interpreters guide you through Barkerville’s rich history through storytelling, activities, interactive lessons, theatrical performances, gold panning, stagecoach rides and more!

Town Tours2
Town Tours

Absorb an in-depth understanding of the gold rush history, Barkerville, and the colourful characters of years past by attending one of our entertaining town tours. Daily tours are hosted by Barkerville’s historical interpreters. Tours begin at the Visitors’ Reception Centre and last approximately 60 minutes.

Included with regular admission.

Waterwheel2The Waterwheel Show

Learn about deep shaft placer mining in this lively demonstration of 1870s technology that uses an authentic wooden Cornish Waterwheel. You’ll learn about the geological conditions that brought gold seekers to the Cariboo, as well as working conditions of an underground mining operation, in a comical and entertaining presentation that is fascinating for the whole family.

The colourful characters from The Waterwheel Show also present Amazing Tales from the Gold Rush Trail, Mining on Williams Creek, and The Cariboo Gold Fields Shareholder’s Meeting several times per day, which provide introductions to the mineralization of the region, the reason gold is found here in Barkerville, and an overview of the different technologies used to extract the precious metal.

Included with regular admission. 

Theatre Royal3Theatre Royal

The Cariboo Amateur Dramatic Association began putting on shows in Barkerville saloons in 1865 which makes this year its 150th anniversary!!

After the fire of 1868, however, Barkerville’s dramatists began presenting their theatre in a building they shared with the Williams Creek Fire Brigade. Today, this tradition continues. The Theatre Royal – still located in the home of the Fire Brigade – continues to offer exceptional shows that not only educates visitors about Barkerville’s past, but does so in a way that mirrors the theatre of the gold rush days in Barkerville. 

Please note: there is no show on Sunday during the spring season. See the Merchant Directory for more details.

Stagecoach2Barnard’s Express Stage Lines

Francis Jones Barnard’s B.X. Express freighting company shaped communication and travel to and from Barkerville and was the main cartage and passenger service on the Cariboo Waggon Road.

Take a horse-drawn tour of Barkerville in an authentic stagecoach, or book a return trip to see Judge Begbie at the Richfield Courthouse! Barnard’s Express offers a variety of passenger and freight services throughout Williams Creek.

Stagecoach rides: $8.00 per person
Richfield coach: $10.00 one way per person; $15.00 return per person

Schoolhouse3Williams Creek Schoolhouse

Experience school like it was when Barkerville was thriving. All are welcome to attend this authentic classroom session. Line up at the schoolhouse doors when you hear the school teacher ringing the bell. Don’t be late, and kindly remove your hats before entering. 

Included with regular admission.

Wendle House2Home Life

Come on in and watch Miss Wendle and others baking and cooking on an authentic wood stove. If you arrive at just the right time, you may get to have a taste. Watch household chores get done the way your great grandmother used to do them. You might even have a chance to lend a hand.

Included with regular admission.

Chinatown2Chinatown School Lessons & Tours

Enjoy a fascinating exploration of one of Canada’s oldest Chinatowns. Find out more about the life of Chinese miners and merchants in Barkerville, and how their culture was maintained and adapted to the rugged land of the Cariboo. To join in on the tour, meet in front of the Lung Duck Tong restaurant at the scheduled time. See the Daily Schedule for times.

Included with regular admission. 

 

Blacksmith2Cameron & Ames Blacksmiths

Experience a working 1870s Blacksmith Shop! Hear the anvil chorus and smell the sizzle of hot metal smoke. The blacksmith gives public presentations several times a day and is open from 10:00am to 4:00pm, seven days per week during the spring and fall seasons, and 10:00am to 5:30pm during the main summer season.

Hand-forged products are sold by the blacksmith on location.

Cemetary2Barkerville Cemetery

Meet Reverend Reynard at the Anglican Church and journey with him on a 1 km walking tour to Barkerville’s original cemetery; the final resting place of Barkerville’s famous (and not-so-famous) residents and one of the most interesting historic cemeteries in British Columbia. Many of the headboards have been recently restored, and the tour benefits from up-to-date research.

Included with regular admission.

Court SessionsEarly Justice

Learn about early justice in the Colony of British Columbia. Let the notorious Judge Begbie and his assistants deliver anecdotes about Barkerville’s criminals and infamous characters.

During our spring season, court sessions are held at the Methodist Church. During summer and fall, court is held at the beautifully restored Richfield Courthouse, a 1.6km (1 mile) easy, half-hour walk from Barkerville. The Richfield Coach from Barnard’s Express also offers rides at $10.00 one way; $15.00 return per person. An early evening court session will continue to be held at the Methodist throughout the summer and fall seasons as well. See the Daily Schedule for times.

Included with regular admission.

Church Services2Anglican Church Services

Work on the beautiful St. Saviour’s Anglican Church began in 1869, shortly after Reverend Reynard’s arrival in Barkerville. The incomplete building first opened its doors on September 18, 1870. The church is one of Barkerville’s most recognizable buildings, and is still made up of all original woodwork.

Services take place on most days at St. Saviour’s, and are performed by a student of the Anglican Church, playing the role of Reverend Reynard. Enjoy a moment of prayer like the miners used to do.

Included with regular admission.

Gold Panning2Gold Panning

Get a taste of the Barkerville Gold Rush. Take a step back in history and learn how to gold pan with the crusty old gold miners at the Eldorado Gold Panning and Gift Shop. Pan for a sample of gold to take home.  At just $8.50 per lesson, this is one of the best (and quickest) returns on your “investment” in the new Cariboo Gold Rush! 

Come into the gift shop and choose from a variety of items available for purchase; gold items, gold pans, jewellery, souvenirs, hats, jackets, t-shirts, books, old-fashioned candy and sweets, drinks, sundries, umbrella rentals, and much more.

Daily Schedule

PDF: Sample Fall Schedule 2016

*Please note: example only. The daily schedule varies and the current daily schedule is given to you upon your arrival.

Museums & Exhibits

Satellite Museums and Walk-in/Interpreted Exhibits are indicated on the map below. There are also numerous period room exhibits in other buildings throughout the site.
Visitors receive a copy of this Town Map upon arrival in Barkerville.

PDF version here: Barkerville Town Map

Activities

Special Events

It’s a celebration with multiple events through the season! From a Chinese lantern parade for Mid Autumn Moon Festival to a Whodunit Murder Mystery weekend…

2016 Calendar

Mon May 23

Join Queen Victoria and Her Royal Consort at the Wake Up Jake Restaurant in honour of Her Majesty's birthday.

Victoria Day Royal Tea

Join Queen Victoria and Her Royal Consort at the Wake Up Jake Restaurant in honour of Her Majesty’s birthday.

May 20-22*

Call 1-250-994-3339 or email barkervillequiltretreat@gmail.com for details. Sessions run Friday - Sunday.
Session One: May 20-22
*Session Two: May 27-29
*Session Three: June 3-5

15th Annual Barkerville Quilt Retreat

Call 1-250-994-3339 or email barkervillequiltretreat@gmail.com for details. Sessions run Friday – Sunday. Session One: May 20-22 *Session Two: May 27-29 *Session Three: June 3-5

Sat June 18

Theatre Royal Summer Show Gala

A special presentation of the Theatre Royal’s 2015 Summer Show. Reception and entertainment will follow in Barkerville. Call 1-250-994-3225 for details.

Thu June 30-Sun July 3*

Saturday to Wednesday Barkerville veteran Dave Sayer presents special daily performances at the Methodist Church. *Session two runs Friday to Monday, September 2nd - 5th.

The Spirit of Cariboo Cameron

Saturday to Wednesday Barkerville veteran Dave Sayer presents special daily performances at the Methodist Church. *Session two runs Friday to Monday, September 2nd – 5th.

Fri July 1

Celebrate Canada's birthday with a tug of war, funny face contest, greasy pole climb, egg toss, races and lots more. The House Hotel hosts an evening of entertainment, dancing and refreshments, followed by fireworks!

Dominion Day Celebrations

Celebrate Canada’s birthday with a tug of war, funny face contest, greasy pole climb, egg toss, races and lots more. The House Hotel hosts an evening of entertainment, dancing and refreshments, followed by fireworks!

Sat July 9

3rd Annual Barkerville Aboriginal Celebration

Presentations by the Lhtako Dene Hoop Dancers, Xatśūll Heritage Village, and more.

Jul 29-Aug 1

ArtsWells Festival of All Things Art

Visit Barkerville’s ArtsWells stages for amazing musical presentations! For info call 1-800-442-2787 or visit artswells.com

Fri-Sun Aug 12-14

Hall tours and church parade on Sunday.

Cariboo Lodge No. 4 Annual Reunion

Hall tours and church parade on Sunday.

Sat Aug 20

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

This traditional Chinese celebration honours Barkerville’s Chinese heritage with activities all day, entertainment in the evening, a lantern parade at dusk, and fireworks. For information about the Lung Duck Tong’s Mid-Autumn Banquet, please click the image above!

Sat Sept 3

William's Creek Sports Day

Games and activities for kids of all ages including the Goldfield Bakery’s 12th Annual Pie Eating Contest! Call 1-250-994-3241 for details.

Fri-Sun Sept 9-11

Barkerville's Annual Cowboy & Drover Jubilee

Celebrating BC’s rich cowboy heritage with 3 musical venues, poetry tent, singing competition and more.

Sat Sept 17

6th Annual Amazing Race to Rebuild Barkerville

Williams Creek Fire Brigade teams race through series of exciting challenges to help rebuild Barkerville after the 1868 fire, leading the winner to a seriously golden prize. Click on the image above for rules of the game.

Fri-Sun Sept 23-25

Out of Time 3: A Dark and Steamy Knight

Put your best sleuthing skills to the test in this immersive, time travelling whodunit weekend. For more information and to purchase tickets, click on the image above.

Mon, Oct 31

Ghostly Hallowe'en Town Tour

Dare to explore spooky main street and the Blair House of Horror; refreshments, activities and fireworks to follow. Click on the image above for more info.

Sat-Mon Dec 10-12

Old Fashioned Victorian Christmas

Enjoy sleigh rides, warm refreshments, delicious home baking in the Wendle House, decorated displays, shopping, carolling, and other seasonal activities. Click on the image above for more info.

Places to Shop

For contact information and store hours, please visit the Merchant Directory.

  • Mason

    Mason & Daly General Merchants

    Mason & Daly General Merchants is a unique 19th century-style General Store carrying an extraordinary selection of goods from sealing wax and stationery supplies to haberdashery, straight razors and tonsurial supplies. A stop at the Candy Counter, with its huge selection of licorice’s, chocolates and other traditional candies, is a must!
  • McMahon's Confectionery

    McMahon's Confectionery

    McMahon’s Confectionery, once known as the Red Front Cigar Store, was part of this vital merchant community, and sold a diverse selection of treats and sundries. Today, in our recreated 1930s style confectionery store, visitors can purchase a wide variety of candies, fudges, ice creams, soda pops and specialty products that were available to the townspeople of 1930s Barkerville.
  • C. Strouss

    C. Strouss & Company Dry Goods

    C. Strouss & Company Dry Goods offers some of the best teas from around the world, cheese cut from 30-pound wheels, cast iron cooking implements and other household goods evoking the best of bygone days.
  • Eldorado Gold Panning

    Eldorado Gold Panning & Gift Shop

    Get a taste of the Barkerville Gold Rush. Take a step back in history and learn how to gold pan with the crusty old gold miners at the Eldorado Gold Panning and Gift Shop. Come into the gift shop and choose from a variety of items available for purchase; gold items, gold pans, jewellery, souvenirs, hats, jackets, t-shirts, books, old-fashioned candy and sweets, drinks, sundries, umbrella rentals, and much more.
  • Cameron

    Cameron & Ames Blacksmith

    Come hear the anvil chorus and smell the sizzle of hot metal smoke. The blacksmith gives public presentations several times a day and sells hand-forged products on location.
  • Kwong Sang Wing Chinese Store

    Kwong Sang Wing Chinese Store

    Colourful Chinese merchandise from clothing to medicinal herbs and wines. Imported directly from China.
  • Lai Soy Lum

    Lai Soy Lum

    Authentic Chinese silk art is sold at the Lai Soy Lum.
  • Louis A. Blanc Photograhic Gallery

    Louis A. Blanc Photograhic Gallery

    Louis Blanc was a photographer in Barkerville who took photos of miners and their claims that would be sent home to loved ones in distant lands. We carry on his tradition by taking photographs ‘In the Highest Style of the Art.’ Dress up in Victorian costumes and have your photo printed in old-fashioned sepia tone and provided to you within minutes. Capable of accommodating large groups (up to 60) with special pricing is available.
  • Pioneer Clothing

    Pioneer Clothing

    Pioneer Clothing costume rental will outfit you with a Victorian era costume for your day in Barkerville, your special event, your wedding or an evening on the town. Please contact photographer@barkerville.com to discuss your needs or drop in to arrange a rental.
  • Post Office

    Post Office

    The Barkerville Post Office is a functioning Canada Post outlet with full services.
  • A. McPherson Watchmaker

    A. McPherson Watchmaker & Jeweller

    This prestigious watch and jewellery shop, originally founded in the 1860s, has a very large selection of Gold and Silver jewellery. You’ll find a variety of precious and semi-precious gem stones ranging from diamonds to amber to opals, all set as earrings, rings or pendants. Or, if you “strike it rich” on your visit, have your gold nuggets set as jewellery or choose from a large selection of mounted nugget jewellery.

Places to Eat

For contact information and store hours, please visit the Merchant Directory.

Lung Duck Tong

Lung Duck Tong

The Lung Duck Tong Restaurant is a local favourite and is renowned for its Chinese cooking, impressing guests from around the world for years with fresh, authentic Chinese food.

Goldfield Bakery

Goldfield Bakery

Visit the Goldfield Bakery in Barkerville and take a walk down memory lane with the aroma of their famous sourdough bread filling the air. Fine, fresh baking, all prepared from scratch right on the premises. Don’t miss the annual Pie Eating Contest held every August; check the special events calendar for this year’s date.

House Hotel Coffee Saloon

House Hotel Coffee Saloon

Relax as you take in the ambiance of Barkerville and swig back a foamy old-fashioned root beer or imbibe in some thirst-quenching spirits at the saloon in the historic House Hotel.

Wake-Up Jake Restaurant & Coffee Saloon

Wake-Up Jake Restaurant & Coffee Saloon

The Wake-Up-Jake Restaurant offers a full menu of old-style favourites including breakfast, lunch and supper as well as children’s specials. 

Don’t forget, C. Strouss & Company Dry Goods also has deli-style items and beverages to purchase for a quick and yummy pick-me-up!

Workshops & Retreats

October 1-8th, 2016

*Postponed until spring 2017

Shut Up & Write! Artist Retreat

Focussed artistic mentorship by one of Canada’s prominent independent writer-performers, at British Columbia’s premiere historic destination! 

TJ Dawe is an award-winning (and published) writer/performer/director. His current projects include: Medicine, PostSecret: the Show, and Never Shoot a Stampede Queen. Various credits include The Slipknot, The Power of Ignorance, Lucky 952 Pick-up and Dishpig. He did a TEDx talk. He co-wrote the play Toothpaste and Cigars, which has been made into the movie The F Word, starring Daniel Radcliffe. 

For more information, visit: www.barkerville.ca/write.