Barkerville Ghost Town



Location: British Columbia Map

Found: 1862


Description of Barkerville Ghost Town

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.