Barkerville Heritage Trust will take over operations of the Cottonwood House on April 1.
Cottonwood House is one of a few remaining 19th Century roadhouses in British Columbia. Built in the 1860s it provided accommodation, meals and provisions for miners and travellers going to Barkerville and the Cariboo goldfields, or south to Williams Lake and Victoria.
Under a one-year agreement, the Trust will manage the property for public and recreational use. A longer-term agreement may be considered.
“Our long-term goal is to have our historic sites become financially self-sufficient,” said Steve Thompson, minister of natural resource operations, in a press release. “This one-year agreement with the Barkerville Heritage Trust is a step in that direction.”
Previously purchased parcels of land were consolidated by the province in 1999, and designated in their entirety under the Heritage Conservation Act. Today, Cottonwood House consists of heritage buildings, a working farm, wheel-chair accessible trails, rustic accommodations and camping sites.
The Barkerville Heritage Trust will assume management of Cottonwood House from Quesnel School District 28. After managing the site for 11 years and providing work experience for hundreds of high school students, the school district recently relinquished management of the historic site.