June 13th – We left Wells Gray and drove on up the Cariboo Hwy (Hwy 97), just past the town of Quesnel to 10 Mile Lake Provincial Park where we will spend the next 3 nights. The Provincial Parks have been very nice. They do not have electric or water hook-ups, but the sites are usually nice sized with good privacy. Most of the parks even have a walking trail or two.
June 14th- Today we toured the old mining town of Barkerville. When Billy Barker discovered gold on William’s Creek in 1862, he triggered a gold rush that brought thousands to this part of the Cariboo. Over the next 8 years, fortune seekers from all over the world traveled the Cariboo Wagon Road to Barkerville.
When the gold ran out, Barkerville dwindled and was finally abandoned. Though, there were residents living in Barkerville until the 1950’s.
Historic Barkerville has over 125 heritage buildings with period room displays and ‘townsfolk’ dressed in period costumes.
Interestingly, Barkerville had a significant Chinese population, with their own section of town (just beyond the flags and street sign over the road). Chinese immigrants came to Barkerville for the lure of gold. Since they were not welcomed by the local European immigrants, they set up their own community with their own services, restaurants, herbalist, school and laundry just down the street.
We sat in on a session of the “Chinese School’. The teacher was VERY strict, even threatening to slap our hand with a ruler if we talked out of turn. The ‘lessons’ were interesting, however. We practiced a few words of Chinese and learned a bit of writing and were instructed in how to use a counting abacus.
This is St. Savior’s Anglican Church where actual services are held each day during the Summer season. We visited with the Minister at the church; a very nice young fellow who shared with us his fondness for smaller churches and the uniqueness of this particular church.
We enjoyed the theatre show where the very talented actors presented a musical comedy……”A Rough But Honest Miner”.
And Fred was pulled onstage to shake his bustle……Lookin’ good! : )
It was a fun day that ended with a bit of misting sleet! Did I mention that it was about 44 degrees outside and overcast…….. typical for these parts, they say!