Rob LeFrance, a member of the Back Country Horsemen of BC group, will discuss efforts to restore the historic trail used in 1865 for telegraph development in the Quesnel area. (Photo courtesy Quesnel Museum & Archives)

Horsepower times two: hooves and wheels at Quesnel museum

Travel back in time by bus and horseback

The Quesnel Museum & Archives is waiting for the bus. It’s due to arrive Wednesday at 1 p.m. – more than 100 of them, in fact.

These buses were framed in the lens of a camera and collected into photo albums by Barry Sanford, the man who dealt with more of them than drivers or students.

“School bus students should be on their best behaviour on May 10 when former school bus supervisor Barry Sanford visits Quesnel,” said Elizabeth Hunter, museum and heritage manager for the City of Quesnel.

“Sanford, who was school bus supervisor with School District 28 from 1985 to 1998, will be in Quesnel that day to present to the Quesnel Museum five albums of photos he took of school bus operations in the Quesnel region during his time here. Former drivers and students are invited to attend the presentation at the museum to view the photographs, visit, and share memories with others. Following the presentation, the albums will become a permanent resource at the museum.”

But if buses don’t get you rolling, there’s always saddles and bridles on the same day. May 10 is when Rob LeFrance rides into town as the next guest of the Quesnel Museum Heritage Speaker Series. He well knows the mechanics of horseback, and he has trotted back into the history of local equine transportation.

“Rob LeFrance will discuss the work of the Back Country Horsemen of BC restoring the telegraph trail north of Quesnel,” said Hunter. As a representative of this provincial group, LeFrance will “describe the activities of the local chapter, organizing group events and revitalizing the historic telegraph trail.

“Developed in 1865 in an effort to link North America to Europe by telegraph via B.C., Alaska, across the Bering Sea, to Siberia, the trail brought faster communications to the area and created an important access route to northern B.C.,” Hunter explained. “Discover the natural beauty and recreational activities that can be accessed from this trail.”

LeFrance begins his presentation at 7 p.m. at the museum (705 Carson Ave.). Admission is by donation. A Zoom link is available, if you cannot attend in person.

For more information on these two, or any, activities at the museum, call 250-992-9580 or email

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