Orange cones surround the gold pan – a sign the area is far from completed.
The pan had been alone, but it was joined by its pick and shovel, which now stand alongside it at the new location across from the visitor’s centre.
The city manager for Quesnel, Byron Johnson said the area is far from finished.
“It’s open to the public to go to take pictures still, but again, it’s a work in progress,” he said. “Once we start sandblasting it, we’ll have to cover it so we don’t get dust everywhere. There will be times where it will be closed so people can’t get photos with it, but that’s part of the fix-up process.”
Johnson said the pan will receive a fresh coat of paint and signage detailing the history of the Cariboo gold rush will be installed nearby. The city has also applied to B.C. Transportation to install a crosswalk across Highway 97 so people parking near the visitor’s centre can easily travel to it.
“Within a month, all of the actual fix-ups, like the repaint, should be done,” he said. “Our goal is to get it done this year. As far as the signage, this fall.”
Community members had been lobbying the city to keep the pan at it’s old location on Highway 97 north, at the turnoff to Barkerville. The pan was moved to the new location on July 22.
“The people who wanted it left in place – they’re not going to be happy no matter what’s done with it,” Johnson said. “You can’t keep everyone happy all of the time, you accept that after a while.”
The gold pan isn’t the only attraction receiving a face lift, as the Quesnel Visitor’s Centre has temporarily relocated due to renovations.
The centre can now be found at the Billy Barker Days Headquarters, right next door.