New Barkerville, British Columbia
New Barkerville, British Columbia is affectionately known as a suburb of Barkerville, B.C. New Barkerville was formed in 1958, when the last remaining Barkerville residents were offered the choice of selling their homes to the Government of British Columbia, which had taken over the Barkerville townsite as a museum, or to be relocated. Most families chose to have their houses relocated to the peak of the Reduction Road Hill, in the forest one kilometre from Barkerville.
Today, New Barkerville consists of roughly eight updated pioneer-style family houses and outbuildings, with a few newly built homes interspersed between them. Amenities are basic - Hydro electricity, spring-fed water supply, telephone and dial-up Internet service and weekly garbage pickup are recent innovations - but the solitude and natural surroundings appeal to the year-round residents, who participate fully in the life of nearby Wells, five kilometres away.
The architecture of New Barkerville's heritage houses is typical of the 1930s gold-rush era, with square dimensions, narrow, short staircases, small rooms clustered around a central wood stove and compact, efficient kitchens. Some houses still maintain wood stoves for everyday cooking as well as for heat. In most cases, the original hardwood floors and hand-carved support poles are still in existence. As in Wells, New Barkerville houses are typically painted in bright colourbox shades.
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