From left: Gerry Thesen, Lloyd Saunders and Lanna Saunders of the Quesnel and District Heritage Association pose in front of the Quincey Coach. Ronan O’Doherty photo

Restored coach to make it’s debut in Billy Barker Days parade

The vehicle was originally used as a taxi on the island and was once owned by a B.C. premier

Thanks to the tireless work and attention to detail of Rorie Watts and the Quesnel and District Heritage Association (QDHA), a restored Victorian-era coach will make its Quesnel debut at the Billy Barker Days parade.

Well before Lyft and Uber were a Silicon Valley pipe dream, horse-drawn coaches would taxi those in need of a ride from one end of town to the other.

Although some modern conveniences were absent, there is a style and panache to the old coaches that is hard to replicate.

The ‘Quincey Coach’ has been an ongoing project for the Quesnel and District heritage Association, which operates the Quesnel Antique Machinery Park (AMP) south of the city on Dragon Lake Road.

Discovered by David Lockyer of Quesnel on a visit to Hat Creek Ranch in Cache Creek in 1998, the coach was soon after brought to Quesnel with the help of the city and the province.

Its history goes back quite some time.

According to Lanna Saunders, who along with her husband Lloyd, help run QDHA, the coach was built anywhere between 1890 and 1892 by the E.M. Miller Company.

It was originally owned by the Victoria Transfer Company, which operated it as a taxi on the streets of Victoria.

Later it was purchased by Mr. Charles Semlin, Premier of B.C. from 1898 to 1900, who used it to transport his VIP guests back and forth from the railway station in Ashcroft to his Cache Creek ranch.

It is believed that sometime in the 1960s, the coach was taken from the Semlin ranch back to Victoria, where it was disassembled for restoration. It was stored at the B.C. Transportation Museum until its closure and, for unknown reasons, the parts were taken to Hat Creek Ranch and stored in a barn.

Eventually, the coach came to QDHA at the Quesnel Antique Machinery Park and, after a few stops and starts, was stored in a corner of the shop until last winter.

After applying and receiving a grant from the B.C. Museums Canada 150 fund, the volunteers of the AMP along with Rorie Watts (2nd Millennium Antique Restoration /Repairs) and others who made invaluable contributions of skills and donations of supplies, the Quincey Coach is ready to meet the public.

Harold Mueller, who operates Crazy M Ranch in Prince George, will bring down two horses to pull the coach and he will have the honour of driving it in the parade, while MLA Coralee Oakes will have the privilege of riding inside.

The coach will continue to be stored at the AMP after the parade and will be available for photo opportunities.

Saunders says they will also consider renting it out for weddings.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Quesnel women to recap Mont Blanc trip at Cariboo Ski Touring Club AGM

Cook and Turlet took a 10-day, 175-kilometre hike through France, Italy and Switzerland

Free transit in Quesnel on election day

There is free transit on all routes for Monday, Oct. 21

Quesnel Prospectors Car Club donates money to worthy causes

Special Olympics and school lunch programs receive $750 each

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read