stagecoach north

Stagecoach North

A History of Barnard’s Express

An in-depth look at the origins and operations of a pioneering transportation company that moved people and goods across the province throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

At the height of the Cariboo Gold Rush, demand for an efficient transportation route to and from the goldfields was reaching a point of desperation. With a lack of reliable roads to traverse the vast and rugged BC landscape, delivering food, mining equipment, and mail to the newly built gold rush towns was a constant challenge, not to mention the logistics of transporting people. This book tells the fascinating story of one company that attempted to connect the province at an unprecedented time of growth and change.

Barnard’s Express (1862–1878), later known as BX or the British Columbia Express Company (1878–1921) reflects the ingenuity, risk, and enterprising spirit of the era. Focusing on the stagecoach line, which ran from Yale to Barkerville from 1864 until 1886 and from Ashcroft to Barkerville after the construction of the CPR, historian Ken Mather uncovers new details about the gold rush through the lens of this groundbreaking company’s operations. Rich in anecdotes and character sketches backed up with extensive research, this is the first full-length book to cover the history of one of BC’s most important early businesses.

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Trail North

The Okanagan Trail of 1858-68 and its Origins in British Columbia and Washington

A revealing history of the ancient trail that served as a major transportation route between Washington and British Columbia and shaped the cultural and economic ties between the two jurisdictions.


Frontier Cowboys and the Great Divide

Early Ranching in BC and Alberta

Digging deep into the origins of cowboy culture, Ken Mather tells the stories of men and women on the ranching frontiers of British Columbia and Alberta and reveals little-known details that help us understand the beginnings of ranching in these two provinces.

Bronc Busters and Hay Sloops

Ranching in the West in the Early 20th Century

Bronc Busters and Hay Sloops tells the story of ranching in the West from the beginning of the Great War until 1960. Cowboy soldiers, bronc busters, First Nations, upper-crust Englishmen and the strong, capable women of ranching country . . . theirs are the stories told in this book.

Buckaroos and Mudpups

The Early Days of Ranching in British Columbia

Remarkable cattle drives, famous ranches and legendary characters are at the heart of Ken Mather’s account of the early days of ranching in British Columbia. These are stories about drovers, ranchers, cowboys and “mud pups” (the remittance men of the ranching industry).