When you travel the Alaska Highway for its 75th Anniversary this year, you’ll be amazed at how much history has been preserved in the communities along the corridor through BC, Yukon and Alaska.
A great example of this is in Fort St. John, where you’ll have the opportunity to take a walking tour and learn about the tough pioneers who built the city. A series of historical signs recreates the past for you while you wander.
The Pioneer Pathway Walking Tour of Fort St. John is also known as the Heritage Kiosk Walking Tour.
Start your informative walking tour at the south end of 100 Street, across from Centennial Park. There are beautiful gardens nearby, where you can relax, snap colourful selfies or enjoy a leisurely picnic.
When you’re ready, meander your way through downtown, viewing each of the informational signs and “meeting” many interesting characters who built Fort St. John beginning in the 1930’s, well before construction of the Alaska Highway began in 1942.
The Walking Tour is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon! On top of the obvious exercise benefits, it’ll give you a rock-solid rationale (a.k.a. excuse) for spending some time spending some money, shopping and exploring the eclectic mix of retail boutiques in the downtown core.
The historical display signs contain reprints of old black and white photos with captions and cutlines that will educate you while you browse for those must-have souvenirs!
Most of the signs are on 100th street between 96th and 106 Avenues. There are also some on 100 Ave between 102 and 98 Streets.
According to the Tourism Fort St. John website, some of the earliest displays include a picture of a 1930 flour mill and a 1933 blacksmith shop operating in Fort St. John.
There’s a brief description of each photo, with many showing the older buildings of the time. Some of the featured buildings include:
- Pomeroy Hotel
- Fort Hotel
- Providence Hospital
- Northern Inn Plaza
- Titus General Store
- Mark’s Café
- Condill Hotel
Some of the kiosks on the tour recount the history of the Alaska Highway, which, of course, will be of great interest to you as you continue your northbound Alaska Highway road trip (or wind down, heading south to Mile “0” at Dawson Creek).
How to get to Heritage Walking Tour
From the Alaska Highway, turn onto 100th Street and drive into the downtown core of the community of Fort St. John, BC, Canada. The first historical kiosk sign starts at 96 Avenue. The centre of the kiosk signs is located on the corner of 100th Street and 100 Avenue.
Visit the tourism Fort St. John website. www.tourismfortstjohn.ca
About Fort St. John
One of the largest cities along the Alaska Highway, Fort St. John is the oldest European-established settlement in present-day British Columbia (1794 trading post).
Located in the magnificent Peace Valley, in the summer the city offers boating, fishing, hunting, scenic drives, bird watching and wildlife viewing. Surrounded by this magnitude of natural beauty and varied terrain, you’ll be motivated to get out and do as much as possible.