Barkerville

Feature Type:Community - An unincorporated populated place, generally with a population of 50 or more, and having a recognized central area that might contain a post office, store and/or community hall, etc, intended for the use of the general public in the region.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: SE of Jack of Clubs Lake, E of Quesnel, Cariboo Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 53°03'58''N, 121°31'02''W at the approximate population centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 93H/4
Related Maps: 93H
93H/4

Origin Notes and History:

Barkerville (Village) adopted in the 18th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1924, as long-established on provincial & federal geological maps such as Amos Bowman's map of the Cariboo Mining District, published in 1887 by Geological & Natural History Survey of Canada. Form of name changed to Barkerville (Post Office & Mining Town) in the 1930 BC Gazetteer. Form of name changed to Barkerville (Post Office) in the 1953 BC Gazetteer; confirmed 12 March 1965 on 93 H. Form of name changed to Barkerville (Community) 15 December 1982.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Willams Creek Post Office opened here 1 July 1864; name changed to Cariboo Post Office c1871, then to Barkerville Post Office 1 July 1872. Letter from Postmaster, 1915, indicates that a map of the town was made in 1868, after which the whole town was destroyed by fire; the rebuilt town is not on exactly the same spot. Referred to as "Barkerville or Middle town" by Cheadle. Together with Richfield and Cameron Town [sic], the settlement comprised 60 or 70 houses. (Milton & Cheadle, journal entry Wednesday, 21 October 1863.)

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"Named after William "Billy" Barker (c1820-1894), Cornish potter and seafarer who struck it rich here; he jumped ship in 1858 to join the Fraser River gold rush. On 21 August 1862 he was digging at Williams Creek in the Cariboo - forty feet down and still no gold. He was ready to give up, but two feet deeper he hit pay dirt; staked the "Barker" claim and began pulling out $5 to the pan, thus igniting the Cariboo Gold Rush. In the period which followed, Billy and his partners took out $600,000 worth of gold. Barker died of cancer at the Old Man's Home, Victoria, 11 July 1894." See also Barkerville Historic Town. Note that nearby Williams Creek was not named for William Barker.

Source: Provincial Archives' Place Names File (the "Harvey File") compiled 1945-1950 by A.G. Harvey from various sources, with subsequent additions

See correspondence received 1995 (file B.1.60) establishing the presence of more than one William Barker - this could explain a discrepancy re: Barker's date of death: 1890 or 1894?

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office