Painted Fire Hydrant Walking Tour

The tour begins at City Hall on the corner of Kinchant Street and St. Laurent Avenue. Follow the brochure map to see all the hydrants in the order they are presented.

Fire Hydrant Sponsors (in order of the tour ):

  1. Ron Rasmussen CA
  2. Subway
  3. City Furniture
  4. Safeway
  5. Expressions by Ewe
  6. Circle ‘S’ Western Wear
  7. Outlaws
  8. Willis Harper
  9. Spa Rivier
  10. Cariboo Observer
  11. Rocky Peak Adventure Gear
  12. Chudiak-Schmidt
  13. Just Anne’s
  14. Billy Barker Casino
  15. The Millionaires Hockey Club
  16. Shell Gas Station
  17. Royal Canadian Legion Branch 94
  18. Regency Chrysler
  19. Bank of Montreal
  20. Granville’s
  21. K-Max Video
  22. Integris Credit Union
  23. Rocky Mountaineer Vacations

Project Coordinator - Quesnel Downtown Association Hydrants designed and painted by Jerii Cassidy
Research - Cheryl Norquay
Information - Quesnel & District Museum and Archives and the Quesnel Library
Photography - Bob Michek
Brochure Design - South Hill Graphics, Quesnel

Example image

1. Teacher

Alice Northcott arrived in Quesnel on August 4, 1884, after being hired as one of the first school teachers. She married Otis Earley in 1902. They were active members of the community and well respected.

2. BX Cook

The sternwheelers brought cargo and adventurers from the south from 1863–1915. Ship cooks had an important job keeping the passengers and crew fed during their long journey north.

3. Can Can Girl

Also known as the Hurdy-Gurdy Girls, these energetic and sassy dancers performed in the saloons during the gold rush.

4. Native Mother

The Native mother and child were the honour of the people of the Chentait’hala nation that used the flats at the junction of the Quesnel and Fraser Rivers as their summer camp.

5. Scout

Lord Baden Powel sent a letter welcoming Quesnel into the scouting movement in 1912. The organization continues to thrive in our community to this day.

6. Rodeo Clown

The first Quesnel Rodeo was held in 1966 at the Bert Eberding property at Bouchie Lake. For five years the rodeo was held there before it was moved to its present location at Alex Fraser Park.

7. Bandit

“Hands up!” It is said that this adage was coined by Bill Miner right here in BC. Over his career, Bill Miner and his gang stole approximately $250,000 in coin, cash and gold.

8. Carpenter

Bill Willis and Lloyd Harper originally opened Willis Harper Furniture and Hardware in 1946. Located on the corner of Reid and Barlow, the store still operates under this name.

9. Hairdresser

May Eagleson became the first female “barber” in Quesnel when the local barber left to serve his country during the war.

10. Paper Boy

The Cariboo Observer newspaper started in Quesnel in 1908 on Reid Street. Their present building originally was the Royal Bank.

11. Voyageur

The Northwest Company explorer, Alexander Mackenzie was the first European to stop here on June 21, 1793.

12. Judge Begbie

BC’s first judge who became known as the “Hanging Judge” actually sentenced very few hangings.

13. Blacksmith

An accident left Kong Sing in a wheelchair. He turned his blacksmithing skills to knife making. He became renowned for his quality work. Some knives have been used for 70 years.

14. Card Dealer

During the gold rush, gambling was a popular pastime. The Chinese merchants ran many gambling houses. You can see some of the gambling artifacts at the Quesnel and District Museum.

15. Hockey Player

The first fenced skating rink and rink house was built in 1908. It was flooded with river water using a gas pump or by volunteer bucket brigades. Four gas lanterns were used for night skating.

16. Gas Jockey

When Shell Oil was formed in BC in 1913, it was not owned by Shell Canada but by Shell California. The BC operations became part of Shell Canada in 1945.

17. Pilot

This hydrant was painted as a World War 1 pilot to commemorate all the brave men and women that fought for the right for us to enjoy peace and freedom.

18. Goldminer

This hydrant represents the gold rush years and the miners that were so intregal in the building of our city.

19. Banker

The first bank that opened in Quesnel was the Northern Crown Bank. It was temporarily located in the annex of the Occidental Hotel that was located on Front Street (where the Cariboo Hotel presently stands). All the buildings located there were destroyed in the fire of 1916.

20. Cyclist

A.J. Elliot rode his bike from Ashcroft on his way to Barkerville. He had to leave the bike at Cottonwood due to snow. Pop Elliot moved his family to the city and purchased the Rex Theatre.

21. Charlie Chaplin

The Empress Theatre was built in 1910 and Quesnel’s first motion pictures were shown there. It is also where the huge fire of 1916 started.

22. Nurse

In 1950 Willa Stevenson started being the attending nurse for baby deliveries in Quesnel. Willa helped to deliver over nine hundred babies through her career here at Baker Hospital.

23. Engineer

Bobble head Bob of the Rocky Mountaineer Vacations welcomed its first train into Quesnel May 2nd, 2006 —86 years after the first passenger train came through in 1921.
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