Historic Barkerville Heritage Town and Living-History Museum

Historic Barkerville Heritage Town and Living-History Museum

I grew up in Quesnel, British Columbia and our school trips included taking the yellow school bus to Barkerville for the day. When I was a kid I didn’t appreciate the history behind this 125-building heritage town or the struggles of prospectors during the gold rush days. I only craved the cinnamon candy sticks sold in the General Store for 5 cents…and my mom requested sourdough bread sold in the bakery and made fresh every day. Every time the loaf of sourdough bread made it home with the centre eaten out of it…not sure how that happened. 😉

Declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1924 and a Provincial Heritage Property in 1958, Barkerville is now the largest living-history museum in western North America, where exciting seasonal events and fun-filled daily activities await. (quote from barkerville.ca)

Barkerville offers so much! Step back in time and wandering the streets and see staff dressed in period costumes and become a prospector by panning for gold! I wish I could be there in early December for the Victorian Christmas celebration! There’s something magical about the historic town and riding a sleigh through the snow-filled streets.

woman in period costume Barkerville

  • Peek in the windows of shops to see how the townspeople lived in the 1800s.
  • Take part in a live courtroom scene
  • Watch a live theatre performances at the Theatre Royal
  • Enjoy delicious food in Barkerville’s restaurants and bakeries including Chinese food in the Chinatown area

Each building is thoroughly described for your self-guided tour. Now that I am older, I take the time to read these plaques and learn something new each time I visit.

If you choose to stay nearby, there are bed and breakfasts right in Barkerville, nearby campgrounds, and hotel options in Wells and Quesnel. See barkerville.ca for more information about your visit!

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  • Suraj Shah

    love it!

  • This is such a lovely place! We have a similar village in Victoriaville, Québec, and I always thought it was super cheesy, but now that I’m all grown up I’d love to go and see how my ancestors used to live!

    • I thought so too, when I was younger, but now I find these historic towns fascinating! 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

  • I forgot about the jawbreakers! The Victorian Christmas would be amazing, is there lots of snow yet?

    • Barb King

      yes! they have a lot already

  • Jennifer Morrow

    What a fun and informative living history museum! I have been to BC many times, and have never heard of this. I have been to similar heritage sites in Arizona, it would be interesting to compare how alike they are (the same time period) and how very different they are.

    • I’d recommend visiting if you get the chance next time! I will miss the Christmas visit this year but maybe I’ll plan for it next winter! I’d like to visit some in Arizona as well.

  • Natalie Tanner

    Lol! Fresh bread? I’m
    Surprised any of it made if home. Lol!! It looks like a great experience for any age!! 🙂

    • I know…right…? The bread is delicious. 🙂

  • Neha Verma

    Such a quaint and lovely setting. I would love to visit this place sometimes. I like those hut kind of setup, the dining room is also adorable

    • It’s great entertainment and keeps everyone busy for a full day or two!

  • Diana – MVMTblog

    I can’t believe I’ve never heard of Barkerville before! The photos look like you’ve time traveled back in time. Would love to visit someday!

    • It’s a hidden secret, I guess!! Definitely visit if you get the chance!

  • Every area is so different! I can explore just my local area and see something completely different each time.

  • Thank you so much Christie!! Yes, you do need to do a Canada road trip! So much to see. I heard next year is the 75th Anniversary of the Alaskan Highway…there’s another idea!

  • Thanks Mel. LOL yes the candy… I can still almost taste the cinnamon sticks. 🙂

  • Kristen Kellogg

    Barkersville looks darling! I haven’t made it to explore British Colombia yet but hope to this year. Thanks for sharing this cute town with me!

    • Thanks Kristen! There’s so much to see in BC! I can send you some highlights when you’re preparing for travel. 🙂

  • Kathy James

    As a child, I never appreciated places and their history. I am glad that you got to revisit Barkerville and learn all about it.
    I have been to a few places that I visited as a kid and have done the same. It looks like a really interesting place. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Kathy! Why does it take us getting older to appreciate these things? 🙂

  • Christine Tran

    This place looks so cute! It really makes me fell like I’ve stepped back into time. So interesting to know places like this still exists!

    • Me too! I loved seeing all the staff in period costumes and playing their parts.

  • Abby Castro

    It looks amazing! The town literally looks like taken off a movie set. So interesting indeed!

    Abigail of GlobalGirlTravels.com

    • Thank you Abby! It’s quite the experience!

  • WanguionTravel

    Oh wow!!! Bakerville is such a lovely town… I would love to step back in time and experience life in the 1800s… love the costumes 🙂

    • I agree! It does feel like stepping back in time.