Letter to the editor: Not the Barkerville I remembered

A visitor recounts his experience at Barkerville compared to a visit in 1980.


First off someone seems to have fallen off the camel.

The Historic Town we visited over the past weekend seems to have lost all resemblance to what I was exposed to in 1980 when I first moved to British Columbia.

I’ll admit that we have not been to Barkerville in quite a few years, but what happened?

The gate is the same, we paid the new fee structure, not a problem.

But after we walked inside things seemed very different.

There were lots of street actors, I’m sorry none of which seemed to be playing a part that could be portrayed as miners of a gold rush town.

Instead of miner’s and wives of miners or women who would actually work in a gold rush town we met women dressed in their very finest outfits, carrying matching parasols.

We had our supper after the 4 p.m. show for a total cost of $42 that included for my wife a small bowl of macaroni and cheese, no vegetables, no salad, tea extra and for myself, being the extravagant and expecting no less than what I would serve, The Venison Stew.

Hey people, a stew by very definition includes vegetables cooked along with the meat.

Not three little pearl onions and a half-cooked half of carrot chopped up cooked al dente, (that’s means just about) and a small baked potato, smashed flat fried and thrown on top.

This meal depending on the cost of the Venison should have included at the very least a piece of bread and most likely a salad.

Yes, I was a cook.

Now, for the shows; maybe I was spoiled when my father-in-law and my wife first took me to this famous town.

But the shows were at least interesting, if not completely accurate.

I’m sorry, the only show we got to see was The Westering Man, 4 p.m. on Saturday.

We had intended to see them all.

After all, even the Theatre Royal Webpage says there is a show at 4 that would be the one we saw, another at 11 a.m., a half hour comedy-drama called The Bride of Barkerville again according to the Theatre Webpage it was to be June 16 – June 30 daily except Monday.


Unfortunately the cast decided that they had worked to hard over

the past week and cancelled the show for the day we happened to be there.


Hey, if it’s advertised it’s on, just like The Westering Man even if there are only eight people in the crowd this is why people come.

The one hour musical which would always be my favourite, was the Gold Rush Revue to be at 1 p.m.

But we were so disgusted at the fact there was maybe 25 guests in the park in total that and nothing else was going on, we decided to leave when the show at 11 was cancelled.

Please, if you’re going up to Barkerville this year, check it out first and find out if the restaurant is open, it apparently is closed one or two days a week right now.

No operator.

And find out if the cast is in the mood to put on the show – they didn’t seem to be on the vweekend we were there.

Ab and Mary McQuillin



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