Francis Jones Barnard (Frank Sr)

Frank Sr, father of Sir Francis Stillman Barnard who would eventually start the Victoria Transfer Co Ltd, was the founder of Barnard’s Express in 1862, one of the most important companies in the early history of the Colony of BC.

  • In 1860 Barnard “began by carrying mail and newspapers, on foot, all the way from Yale to the goldfield towns of the Cariboo, a 760-mile roundtrip journey, charging $2 per letter and selling newspapers in the goldfields for $1 a copy.”
  • In 1861 and 1862 he also carried packages between Yale and New Westminster, a distance of 200 miles.
  • In 1862 he established a one-horse pony express, with himself as sole rider… [and later that year] Barnard used his own acquired capital and found a backer to launch Barnard’s Express and Stage Line with fourteen six-horse coaches and a famous team of “crack whips” to drive them…
  • In 1864 he won the government contract to carry the mail. His company’s coaches, equipped with armed guardsmen, were fully in charge of the movement of gold from the Cariboo to the Coast.
  • In 1866 Barnard bought out his business partners and gained control of the bulk of business connecting Victoria to Barkerville.