William “Billy” Barker

Virtual Tour of Ross Bay Cemetery
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17. William “Billy” Barker

This bronze plaque set in a boulder brought here from Barkerville, was erected in 2008 to replace the flat bronze plaque that had marked his grave since 1962. Billy Barker is the most famous resident of “Potters Field”

Block: F
Plot: 13 E 16

Miner and prospector

Billy Barker was born in Cambridgeshire, England. He is first mentioned by name in British Columbia on a Free Miners License he obtained in Lillooet in 1859 along with 6 other Englishmen.

BC Archives Image A-01144 

On August 17, 1862, Billy made the biggest strike of the Cariboo Gold Rush. Barkerville, the gold rush boom town, was named after him. Billy Barker continued prospecting until the last years of his life but never make another strike like the one at Barkerville. He died in poverty at the Old Men’s Home in Victoria.