Category Archives: History Town

These one-panel cartoons by Dirk Van Stralen, along with the accompanying editorial by Danette Boucher, are part of twenty weekly entries that will be logged – and subsequently blogged – as part of a 2013 collaboration between Barkerville, British Columbia and The Prince George Citizen aimed at introducing some of the quirkier advantages to living, working, and playing in the Cariboo Goldfields. We hope you enjoy!

History Town 2015 (Politics) by vanstralen.jpg October 05

[History Town] Closing for the season inspires a whole slew of emotions

Barkerville closing for the season inspires a whole slew of emotions. The day after the Barkerville season officially ends, when the last of our guests have checked out of the B&Bs and are headed off down Highway 26, is a shock to the system. For many long-time Barkerville “residents” the shock of going from clamour […]

History Town 2015 (Weather) by vanstralen September 27

[History Town] Barkerville’s businesses are a vital part of our seasonal lives

We are in the final days of the Barkerville season. The air is getting colder, the hillsides have turned golden, and the pace of life on the street has slowed. In summer much of my time is caught up in the energy and intensity of crowds and performances. In September, however, our schedule is far […]

History Town 2015 (Rebuild) by vanstralen September 20

[History Town] Mourning is a necessary and crucial part of life

A few days ago a boy who was about 11 years-old approached me as sat outside Barkerville’s St. George Hotel. “Excuse me,” he said. “Is it true that the people from your time always wear black when someone dies? My teacher said you do.” During my years as a historical interpreter I have often been […]

History Town 2015 (Oregon Trail) by vanstralen September 06

[History Town] In Barkerville the weather is never gentle

Last week, on the morning of September 1st, I jumped into my van to make the relatively short drive from Wells to Barkerville. The vehicle’s windshield seemed to be coated in morning mist, so I flicked on my wipers to clear it… but it didn’t clear. It didn’t clear because it turned out the mist […]

History Town 2015 (End of the Road) by vanstralen August 30

[History Town] Through storytelling, we connect – and intersect – our lives

I love a well-crafted story. I love to hear an anecdote told just right, with a strong through-line, plot twists and curves, switchbacks, tension, a climax and a satisfying conclusion. Throughout my career as an historical interpreter the act of collecting, crafting and telling stories has fueled my professional life. Tonight at the Sunset Theatre […]

History Town 2015 (Kinda Boring) by vanstralen August 22

[History Town] The OTHER animals of Barkerville…

Each season in Barkerville we have the great pleasure of spotting wild animals in and around town. During the spring months in particular, before the bigger crowds arrive and as the high snow-pack melts, we often see foxes and martins. Black bears in Barkerville are occasionally observed in May and early-June, and Columbian ground squirrels […]

History Town 2015 (Goldfield of Dreams) by vanstralen August 16

[History Town] The animals of Barkerville

Regular visitors to Barkerville get to know our cast of historical characters very well. We love welcoming repeat guests, and we love it when visitors appreciate the various roles we play. But there is a second cast of characters that adds a lot of life and heart to Barkerville – the animals. The animals of […]

History Town 2015 (Ghosts) by vanstralen August 10

[History Town] Mid-August Musings…

When you work at a place like Barkerville for as long as I have, you tend to think of life as a series of summer seasons, each with its own set of tiny quirks and big, defining moments. We are now into August, the homestretch, the last weeks of summer before we slide into the […]

History Town 2015 (Per Se) by vanstralen August 01

[History Town] Our Tim: the man for an undiscovered country

Early this afternoon I was in my Barkerville dressing room hunting for some fingerless gloves. The day had turned unexpectedly warm and I needed to shed my regular, now uncomfortable gloves and swap them for a cooler pair. As I was banging about in my costume drawers there was a knock at the door. I […]

History Town 2015 (Internet) by vanstralen July 26

[History Town] Giving voice to those who can no longer speak for themselves

A large part of my job as a first-person historical interpreter is to give voice to those who can no longer speak for themselves. I try to never lose sight of the awesome responsibility that has been entrusted to me. I represent my character, but I also have the opportunity, through that character, to represent […]