The new BX Stop of Interest sign north of Cache Creek. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Missing Stop of Interest sign returns, five years after going AWOL

Sign commemorating the B.X. Express Company disappeared in 2015

A historic Stop of Interest sign north of 16 Mile commemorating the famed B.X. stagecoach company, which disappeared in 2015, has recently been replaced.

The Stop of Interest signs were conceived of as part of the celebration of the centennial of British Columbia in 1958. In 1858, the discovery of gold on the Fraser and Thompson Rivers prompted tens of thousands of would-be miners, mostly from the United States, to flood into the area.

Worried that the area might be lost to the US, the British government designated the mainland as the Colony of British Columbia.

As part of the centenary celebration, 49 signs — mainly dealing with B.C.’s early settlement, transportation, and industry — were designed and put in place along B.C.’s highways. The distinctive green and gold signs with a dogwood symbol quickly became a much-loved feature, and in 1966 another 40 signs were put up, to mark the 100th anniversary of the amalgamation of the Crown colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island.

In 1967, when Canada celebrated 100 years of Confederation, another 15 signs were put up, including the one north of 16 Mile. It recognizes the iconic B.X. stagecoach line, which started as Barnard’s Express in 1862 and became the British Columbia Express Company in 1878. Its stagecoaches were a fixture on what is now the Cariboo Highway for several decades, transporting people, goods, and gold throughout the Interior. At its height, the total miles covered by the BX was exceeded only by that of the Wells Fargo line in the United States, and its route from Ashcroft — the company’s headquarters from 1886 until it was wound up in 1921 — to Fort George (now Prince George) was the longest stagecoach run in North America.

The author photographed the B.X. sign in June 2012, when it was showing signs of wear and tear after 45 years of exposure to the elements. At some point in 2015 it disappeared, with only the sawn-off stump of its post left to show where the sign had been.

In 2016 the provincial government announced that the Stop of Interest signs — which at that point numbered more than 160 — would be re-evaluated, with signs that were damaged, disfigured, or illegible replaced. Outdated, and sometimes racist, language would be eliminated, and new signs celebrating more of the province’s diverse past would be installed. Among the newest signs is one marking the McAbee Fossil Beds, east of Cache Creek on Highway 1, which was erected in June 2020.

On a drive past the B.C. Express sign site on July 19, 2020, the author was pleased to see that the sign has at last been replaced. It retains most of the wording of the original sign, although the reference to “C.P.R. construction” destroying the wagon road through the Cariboo has been changed to “railroad construction.” The distance from Ashcroft to Barkerville — 280 miles on the original — has been converted to 450 kilometres.

It can only be hoped that the Ghost of Walhachin Stop of Interest sign on Highway 1 near Juniper Beach, which has been missing for more than 15 years, will soon be replaced as well, for the enjoyment of the travelling public.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


The original BX Stop of Interest sign north of Cache Creek - pictured in June 2012 - went missing in 2015. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Just Posted

Fraser-Nicola BC Liberal Party candidate Jackie Tegart with supporters on the Ashcroft bridge, Oct. 21, 2020. Tegart is the frontrunner in the riding after the initial vote count, with mail-in ballots to be counted starting on Nov. 6. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Liberal incumbent Jackie Tegart holds narrow lead over Aaron Sumexheltza of NDP

Initial count is complete, and mail-in ballots will determine who wins in Fraser-Nicola

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

(from l) Fraser-Nicola candidates Jonah Timms (BC Green Party), Jackie Tegart (BC Liberal Party), and Aaron Sumexheltza (BC NDP). The polls have now closed and the counting has started. (Photo credit: Submitted)
Results awaited in Fraser-Nicola as polls have now closed

Counting of advance and election day votes has begun; mail-in votes to be counted starting Nov. 6

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read