Some interesting projects are taking place in the historic town of Barkerville.
CEO Ed Coleman says one gives people an idea of what the miners experienced when they were working…
“We’re also working on an underground tunnel, which is about a half a million dollar project. We’ve chosen the tunnel that looks like we’re going to partner with Barkerville Gold Mines and Northern Development Trust, and we’re hoping to have that ready for the fall for 2020. So it’s taking people underground to see what those old historical tunnels looked like.”
Coleman says they’ve also done about a million dollars worth of fuel management in the area which has opened up the possibility of creating some more trails.
He says those two projects are in addition to 1.1 million that has went into things like roofs, foundations and improvements to the washroom and campground areas.
Coleman says Barkerville will soon feature the history of indigenous people as well…
“The indigenous citizens that were part of Barkerville were fully integrated into the society and the economy out here, and what we’ve done is extensive research on the different families, the different people and the work they did here, and we’ve gone in depth. And we’ll have an interpretive program that outlines all those different stories. There are a whole bunch of them. There was an indigenous woman that intermarried into the Kelly family for example and they had three children. The Kelly family is the only family that has four generations at Barkerville so we tell that story. We talk about some of the sports that occurred around here, so the indigenous folks that won some of the horse races on some of the fun days that were occurring in Barkerville over the decades.”
Coleman says they hope to have that ready by July.
He says they also have conceptual plans for an indigenous centre.
Coleman has high hopes for attendance this year with a goal of 70,000 visitors.
57,500 people visited the historic town last year, a total that Coleman says was once again hurt by the smoke caused by wildfires.