Barkerville Ghost Town is situated in a province of British Columbia
in Canada. Barkerville was originally found in 1862 and named after
prospector William Barker who struck it rich a year earlier founding
a large deposit of gold. Although some historians claim that the
name of the ghost town is owed to barking of the local packs of
wolves. Barkerville grew quickly inviting people from other regions
of the country as well as China. Chinese became an important part of
the city opening many businesses here. During hey day Barkerville
was the largest city in the Western Canada, but it lucks soon turned
sour. Gold mining became less productive, resources of the
settlement dwindled. The city was largely abandoned by the end of
the century due to declining source of precious metals. It had a
brief increase in population during the Great Depression, but it was
short lived. Unlike most other cities in the West Barkerville was
not completely forgotten. In 1958 Canadian government undertook a
restoration project to attract tourists.
In 1957, the government of British Columbia
decided that the town should be restored and operated as a tourist
attraction. Today, Barkerville appears as it did in its heyday and
is referred to as Barkerville Historic Town. The history of each
building has been researched and documented. No residents remain;
they were either bought out or moved to New Barkerville during the
restoration of the site.
In 2008, Barkerville's Chee Kung
Tong Building was designated a National Historic Sites of Canada.
The two-storey board and batten structure was completed in 1877 and
originally used by the Chee Kung Tong organization, a benevolent
association for recent arrivals. It is representative of the
community building among immigrant Chinese laborers and merchants in
new settlements throughout Canada.