Barkerville is located in south central British Columbia, roughly 80 km east of Quesnel. The town was named after the first and most successful miner of the area, a British man named William “Billy” Barker.1
While other miners were concentrating their efforts on one area of Williams Creek, Barker sought gold farther downstream.2 On August 17, 1862, he discovered a deposit that earned him $650,000.3 Word of his discovery travelled fast and soon the area was packed with miners.4 It wasn't long before the town of Barkerville emerged and over 142,000 kg of gold was extracted from the surrounding area.5
On the afternoon of September 16, 1868, a large fire consumed the town and left only a few buildings standing.6 In this despatch, Seymour states that property valued at from one to two hundred thousand pounds has been destroyed. No one was killed in the fire, although Barkerville's infrastructure was devastated and this allowed the town to be rebuilt in an orderly fashion with wider roads and more permanent buildings.7 With the harsh winter weather approaching, the building had to be accomplished quite quickly.8 Over 90 per cent of the rebuilding was completed by the beginning of November.9
Barkerville is now a provincial Heritage Site and a National Historic Site of Canada and is run by a non-profit charity called the Barkerville Heritage Trust.10
Mentions of this place in the documents
People in this document

Seymour, George Francis

Places in this document

British Columbia


Williams Creek