The future of Barkerville is potentially limitless. Many projects have been completed but others remain shelved, usually due to inadequate funding. The town is not made simply of buildings and characters in the street but a living town with an infrastructure, including sewer, electricity, fire protection and storage facilities. Artifacts with their care, maintenance, restoration and reproduction play an integral part as does the Barkerville library and archives. Barkerville, more than most communities, builds its future on its past.
There are five major aspects to the development of Barkerville as an historic site: conservation, preservation, rehabilitation, restoration and reproduction. Each is considered when looking at anything from an artifact such as the saw mill to the letters collected into the library, to the interpretation of a particular character one sees on the street. Each issue has to be considered before taking action.
Projects that presently need funding include:
Because of the harsh mountainous terrain it is located in and because it has been constructed almost entirely of wood, Barkerville Historic Town is in constant need of protection and preservation, even after the buildings have been fully restored. With Provincial Government and Friends of Barkerville funds, areas of the town site were given a much needed boost.
Barkerville has changed over the past few years. Several Bed and Breakfast places are now open, bringing life to the streets of Barkerville during the evenings and businesses are staying open later. It is anticipated that new development will add to the number of visitors to the site and the Cariboo in general.
The projects listed above are directed to the preservation of the town and its contents for future generations. Projects and planning have formed a good part of the development decision making. For example, the planning for the sawmill began back in 1985. Many approaches to the restoration have been identified through public forums. Barkerville belongs to all of us. In 2001 it was judged the best outdoor attraction in British Columbia by Attractions Canada. If you have any suggestions or ideas, we would be pleased to hear from you either in person or email, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you utter those wonderful words “Why don’t they….” Please let us know the rest.