Notes By H. B. Phillips | Vol. 1 | Adams – Burns

Page 102 | Ballou's Express, Notes On Express

Page 102 | Ballou’s Express, Notes On Express 2017-05-23T18:00:00+00:00

Express Company Centers  (Marysville, Yreka)

Ballou’s Express, Notes On Express

see my manuscript work on Ballou


The Express business was established by William Ballou in British Columbia during the year 1858. He was a pioneer in the express business and carried letters and newspapers to the mines along the Fraser River. The newspapers were largely purchased along the route at One Dollar per copy; they were chifly the Victoria “Colonist” and “Chronicle” and San Francisco “Bulletin”.

Early in 1862 Frank J. Barnard succeeded Mr. Ballou and during that year established the British Columbia Express Company; he and his messengers travelled afoot with letter and papers, bringing back gold dust and nuggets. At this time there were no roads connecting the different camps and the messengers used the old trails. In 1864 a wagon trail was opened from Yale to Lillooct and Soda Creek.

In 1865 Barnard established his Express Service under contract with the Government and put on the usual stages. This Service was usually known as BARNARD’S EXPRESS, and nearly all packages of either mail or express matter were stamped “B.X.” with brass Stamp. The charge for express (???) was $1.00 each; newspaper 50 cts.

In 1866 the road was completed to BARKERVILLE, a distance of 400 miles. The fare over their line was $125, for express matter the rate was $1.00 per pound, later on these rates were reduced to $85 and 50 cts respectively.

The British Columbia Express Company was chartered under an act of the British Columbia Legislature in 1871, Mr. Barnard being the founder and General Manager.

The “B.X.” not only carried mail and express amtter over the main line, but over numerous side lines, much as to CARIBOO and Lillooct, and later extended its lines as new districts became settled; one of its most distingushed lines being fromCache Creek to O’Keefe’s in the Okanagan…

Over certain of the branch lines the Company did business under the name of BARNARD & NELSON’S EXPRESS, and DIETZ & NELSON’S B.C. & V. EXPRESS.

Henry C. Needham The Phil. Gaz. April 1915.