Cottonwood House Historic Site opens for the 2015 season today (May 14) and admission is by donation until the end of the month.
Cottonwood House, which is located east of Quesnel on the Gold Rush Trail to Barkerville, offers heritage interpretation, accommodation and food to those wanting to explore and experience the Cariboo and its rich history.
One of the last remaining Gold Rush roadhouses in British Columbia, Cottonwood House was built in the 1860s to offer accommodation, meals and provisions to miners and travellers on their journey along the Cariboo Waggon Road between Barkerville and Quesnel.
“Cottonwood House continues to operate in much the same way as it did in the 1870s,” says Ed Coleman, chief executive officer for both Barkerville Historic Town and Cottonwood House Historic Site.
“We provide meals, entertainment, and accommodation to travellers on their way to and from Barkerville.”
In April 2015, Barkerville Heritage Trust reached an agreement with the provincial government to run Cottonwood House as a Youth Partnership Project.
Employing post-secondary and secondary school students, the site provides valuable training in the areas of tourism and agriculture. Employees receive training in heritage interpretation and provide tours of Cottonwood House, as well as develop and implement a wide range of programs and activities for groups of all ages, including school programs and special events.
Through partnerships, wood products manufacturing programming, a restaurant, gift shop, rental cabins, tent and RV sites, washrooms with showers, and an activity building with kitchen have been added to the site.
In addition to the restaurant, gift shop and accommodation services, Cottonwood House’s staff of dedicated students and their supervisors provide tours of the original 1864 Cottonwood House, farm interpretation, horse-drawn wagon rides, a wheelchair accessible trail system and more.
For information about Cottonwood House Historic Site’s 2015 season, visit www.cottonwoodhouse.ca