12383 Barkerville Hwy
British Columbia Tourism Region : Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
- After Billy Barker, who struck it rich here. Barker, a Cornish potter turned sailor, jumped ship in 1858 to join the gold rush in the Fraser Canyon. On 21 August 1862, he was digging in the Cariboo fifty feet down and still no gold.
- He was ready to give up, but two feet deeper he hit the pay dirt. The find started a spree that left everybody drunk except one 'well-brought-up' Englishman. In the period that followed, Billy and his partners took out $600,000 worth of gold (very much m
- In the period that followed, Billy and his partners took out $600,000 worth of gold (very much more in modern values).
- Barker has been described as 'a man of less than average height, stout with heavy body, short, slightly bowed legs ... His face was partially hidden beneath a bushy black beard, plentifully streaked with grey.'
- When Barker entered a saloon, particularly if he was already primed with a few drinks, he would do a little dance while singing:
- I'm English Bill, Never worked, an' never will. Get away girls, Or I'll tousle your curls.
- He soon lost his fortune (marriage to a gold digger of another kind accelerated the process), and he ended his life in dire poverty, dying in the Old Men's Home in Victoria in 1894.
- Bowron Lake, NE of Barkerville & named after John Bowron (1837-1906).
- A native of Huntingdon, Quebec, he was one of the Overlanders of 1862 who travelled to the Cariboo goldfields by way of the Yellowhead Pass.
- When the first library in the Cariboo was established, on a subscription basis, at Camerontown in 1864, Bowron was the librarian.
- Subsequently he and the library moved to Barkerville, where he became a leading member of the Cariboo Amateur Dramatic Association, which put on its plays in the old Theatre Royal.
- In 1866 Bowron became postmaster at Barkerville, in 1872 mining recorder, in 1875 government agent, and in 1883 gold commissioner. He retired in 1905.
- Isaac Lake - After George Isaac, an old-time prospector who led a party past here in 1886. He ran the Barkerville Club in Barkerville.
- Kibbee Lake - After Frank Kibbee, who lived in the area from 1901 to 1925. A trapper who lost his scalp in a fight with a grizzly bear, Kibbee became the first warden for the province's Bowron Lake Game Sanctuary.
- Lanezi Lake - This is the Carrier Indian word for 'ten.' The lake is ten miles long.
- With permission from G.P.V and Helen B. Akrigg 1997 British Columbia Place Names. UBC Press.
Address of this page: http://bc.ruralroutes.com/Barkerville