What started as a joke played by Private Carl K. Lindley in 1942 has turned into one of the most famous roadside attractions along the Alaska Highway. While serving with the 341st Engineers, Carl Lindley was assigned the duty of repairing a signpost that had been damaged by a bulldozer. Instead of simply replacing the signs as ordered, Lindley added one of his own. Marking the distance from his temporary home in Watson Lake, Yukon, to his hometown of Danville, Illinois, Lindley started a tradition that has lasted for more than 75 years.
The first sign read “Danville, Ill. 2835 miles,” and as other G.I.’s added their hometowns the signpost forest was born. Though it started with just a few signs, it has grown considerably and there are now more than 100,000 signs making up the Sign Post Forrest. New posts are constantly being added to the expanding man-made forest and it now covers a few acres with signs being left behind by tourists from around the world.