About the Forest
In 1942, while building the Alaska Highway, it was common for homesick soldiers and engineers to put up a directional signpost at their camps, pointing the way and mileage to other communities and places in the world. One such soldier, Private Carl K. Lindley, had been injured during the construction of the Alcan Highway near Lower Post, BC, and was taken to the Army Aid Station in Watson Lake to recover.
During his recovery, his commanding officer asked him to repair and repaint the directional signpost for the camp. While doing so, he decided to add his own sign that pointed to his home, DANVILLE, ILLINOIS. Other soldiers followed suit, and the signpost grew. Then, more people began to follow his example, adding their own signs, and the trend caught one, something that continues to this day.
As time passed, the original signpost and it’s signs were lost. During the 50th Anniversary of building the Alaska Highway, Carl and his wife Elanor returned to the Yukon and Watson Lake as guests, and a replica of the original signpost was erected, and Carl replaced his original sign. On February 20, 2002 Carl Lindley passed away in Danville, Illinois were he had lived all his life.
Today the replica signpost is displayed in the Watson Lake Visitor Centre for all to view, and the signpost Forest itself has grown to a whopping 77,000+ signs from all walks of life! People from all over the world add signs from their hometowns, or, as this site has shown, other mementos from the heartfelt to the weird! All are welcome to bring their own sign to put up in the forest to continue a tradition a soldier started so long ago!