Cariboo Roadhouse Poem

advertisement for Cold Spring House in Cariboo Sentinel October 15, 1866

Cash Book

Stiff yellow pages reveal
A sturdy log roadhouse
Fifteen miles from Quesnel
Each entry a window
Through the penmanship of John Boyd
The door swings open
Mah Gee buys a pick axe and
sets off for the gold fields in the Cariboo
Dutch Charlie
Dancing Bill and
Play a game of Monte
The seasons pass as the pages turn
Mr. Dragon sits down for a hot meal and a wagon tongue
A train of oxen arrive in the snow
In the middle of the night
Fifteen dollars worth of cabbage is eaten
and charged to the team
Soap is $1.25 a bar
the same price as a bottle of lager beer

Boyd opens a package of seeds and
sets off for Quesnel to buy a plough
Henry McDames pays part of his bill
“for sundry items at sundry times”
Antoine Malbouf “commenced to work at $100 per month and board,
idle time to be deducted.”
Madame Simone buys 1070 pounds of hay at 7 cents a pound
Beet and turnip seeds are planted in the ground

John “Cariboo” Cameron
Frenchman with Sheep and
Ah Doo all pass through on their way to gold
Tolls are paid to G.B. Wright as the Cariboo Road
Is built by three hundred men
The cook Ah Fatt pays for his friends’ stay
Malbouf breaks a tumbler and settles for the damage
Ah Doo comes back from the creek to work at Cottonwood
Eggs are $4 a dozen
Berries are growing ripe in the hills
golden grain in the fields
long rows of vegetables in the garden


During the height of the Cariboo gold rush, there were twelve roadhouses situated along the road from Quesnel to Barkerville. John Boyd later bought the Cottonwood Ranch and roadhouse just west of Cold Spring House in 1874. Cottonwood became a provincial historic site in 1963, a hundred years after it was built. It is one of the last remaining roadhouses in BC.