BARKERVILLE IS PURE GOLD FOR VISITORS TO B.C.'s
By Pam Hobbs
Columbia: Caught by
a skittish breeze, crisp
brown leaves rustle
around our feet as we
stand there in the
graveyard, a small
silent group listening
to tales of violence
and death in
Barkerville. We have
walked here with the
Reynard who now
recalls gruesome accidents, consumption, foot-rot, pneumonia, and
typhoid caused by contaminated drinking water. And there's no hint
of a smile when he says he takes the sacramental wine to bed with
him so it won't freeze. Then softly adds that in mid-winter
sometimes it freezes anyway.
On our walk back to town the reverend says matter-of-factly that
he first preached here in a saloon, and had to build his church
virtually single-handedly. He sounds so sincere, so dedicated to his
calling, I find it hard to believe his work is not to save souls, but to
keep visitors like me entertained.
Barkerville was at the heart of the gold rush in the l860s...........
Story (825 words) continues to describe life in the town, ending;
IF YOU GO: Barkerville is open daily from mid-June through summer. It is 420 miles (675km) north of
Vancouver via hwys 1 and 97 to Quesnel, then east on hwy 26.
more information telephone Barkerville Historic Town at (250) 994-3332 or visit www.barkerville.com