The fort at Fort St. James represents the oldest European settlement in British Columbia, built in 1806 by the North West Company, a fur-trading firm and rival to Canada’s iconic Hudson’s Bay Company.
Also known as the Stuart Lake Post, the area was explored James McDougall, an assistant to the famous B.C. explorer Simon Fraser.
Now a National Historic Site, the fort is in the heart of Carrier or Dakelh First Nation territory, and although there were some cultural and practical barriers to the fur trade, the fort eventually became profitable.
The Hudson’s Bay Company, through a corporate merger, gained control of the fort in 1821, and it became the headquarters for the immense New Caledonia fur trading district.
Fort St. James is on the south-eastern shore of Stuart Lake in the Omineca Country, at the northern end of Highway 27, which connects to Highway 16 at Vanderhoof.
(NOTE: All Parks Canada facilities were temporarily closed during the COVID-19 crisis, all visitor services and all motor vehicle access by visitors were suspended until further notice. Check this website for current conditions when planning your future adventures.)
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