NOTES FROM THE CURATOR
Gold bearing areas of the Pacific Rim, including: British Columbia, western
United States, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and other places.
We will be featuring clothing, including an 1880 wed ding skirt, musical
instruments, gambling and game pieces, ceramics, opium re lated artifacts,
and many small artifacts that we can not place on display elsewhere in Barkerville.
Also, photographs will help illustrate the great differences between the
Chi nese and European cultural traditions. They will also tell a story of
similarity - in mining.
The display will also feature 'period' music and the smell of incense. The
whole effect will be oriented towards emphasizing the cultural differences,
primarily because the Chinese social order and lives were so far removed
from their Euro-Canadian contemporaries. It was not until the 1930's that
there was a definite beginning of integration in the two cultural groups.
This can be seen in some of the artifacts that will be on display.
The entire display has been constructed as a shell within the original structure
of the building so that should Barkerville in the future want to change
the display, the shell can be removed and old walls will be intact. This
initial ground floor display is only phase one of completing the building
as a display area. The next phase will be to have the upstairs portion brought
back to the vigor it had when it was being actively used during the 1930's.
During that time period, the upstairs kitchen was used to cook the food
for the miners working for Bill Hong. It is well re membered as a happy
place where the children could have fun in the front living room and a cup
of tea could be had if you were in need of fortification on the way home
from a skiing trip. The kitchen was always a busy place where the women
would be constantly preparing food. And, much of the original wall paper
and floor coverings are intact!
Last but not least, the display will be dedicated to the memory of Bill
Hong who was first and foremost the great chronicler, miner, fire marshal,
entrepreneur, and collector of artifacts, without whose concern for the
pres ervation of the history of Barkerville this display would not have
1994 is a big year in terms of display development and reconstruction. Our
largest display to date concerns what most of us call the Hong Warehouse.
Built in 1932, it was the home and business for the Bill Hong family. It
was also the home of Mr. Hong's partner for part of the time. The building
will hence foreword be known as the Lee Chong Company Store, its original
name, and will house an exhibit of artifacts that relate to the people of
Chinese origin in Barkerville and the Cariboo Goldfields.
The display features a Chee Kung Tong meeting room, where the initiates
to the society would have been inducted. This portion of the display has
been thoroughly researched by Ying Ying Chen and includes a display of flags
that represent vari ous chapter houses throughout the world.
A portion of the display will help to place the Chinese into the context
of the world. The great Opium Wars, 1840 to 1860, that opened up China to
foreign trade also help lead to the flow of people from the Canton region
to the go
Barkerville Historic Town