Today, we head to Barkerville Historic Town & Park to meet the man who started it all, Billy Barker! In this Gold Rush Trail storyteller series episode, we learn how William Barker began prospecting for gold on Williams Creek in 1861. As the lead figure of the Barker mining company, Billy was responsible for staking claims all around the Barkerville area. After many unsuccessful claims finding just specs and flakes, Billy plotted a plan to try mining the lower part of Williams Creek. He was inspired to do this after hearing of the success in nearby gulches and realizing that they would flow deep beneath the canyon on Williams Creek! Finally, on August 17, 1863, his hard work paid off and the history of this province changed forever. The Barker Company struck gold, and lots of it… 124 ounces within just 10 hours! This has since been recognized as the most successful mining event of the Cariboo Gold Rush and it led to the creation of Barkerville and many surrounding mining towns. Learn more at Barkerville Historic Town & Park and the Gold Rush Trail History Page.
The Gold Rush Trail Guide depicts a story – a history – shaped by nature.