A Brief History of Fort St. John
A Little Bit About Fort St. John
Fort St. John is located immediately along the Alaska Highway in North Eastern British Columbia. Fort St. John is a small city of approximately 18,000 people and the primary industry in the area is oil and gas. Year-round recreational opportunities abound in and around Fort St. John. Among these are camping, hunting and fishing along the beautiful Peace River; hiking and snowshoeing in Fish Creek Community Forest; boating, hiking and cross-country skiing at Charlie Lake; in addition to curling, skating, hockey, and swimming at facilities in the city. Fort St. John has many events such as "High on Ice" festival which brings in ice-carvers from around the world.
Fort St. John is located 75 kilometers (47 miles) north of Dawson Creek‘s ‘Mile 0’, 405 kilometers (242 miles) to Fort Nelson, 741 kilometers (463 miles) to Liard Hotsprings, 128 kilometers (80 miles) to the W.A.C. Bennett Dam, 461 kilometers (277 miles) to Prince George, 106 kilometers (64 miles) to Hudson’s Hope, 170 kilometers (102 miles) to Tumbler Ridge, and 202 kilometers (121 miles) to Grande Prairie, Alberta.
Our Fur Trading History
1793 Sir Alexander McKenzie embarked on his historic journey to the Pacific Ocean. During his voyage he passed the mouth of the Pine River and noted the excellent potential for a future fur trading post.
1794 -1805 The first fort, called Rocky Mountain Fort, was established along the Peace River at the mouth of the Pine River. Rocky Mountain Fort was the earliest European settlement in mainland British Columbia.
1806-1823 Fort d’Epinette, also called St. John, was established by the Northwest Company. The name changed to Fort St. John when the Hudson’s Bay Company merged with the Northwest Company in 1821 and took over management of the fort. The fort was closed following a massacre in 1823.
1858 - 1872 Fort St. John was reopened on the south side of the Peace River after a 40 year lapse due to the 1823 massacre
1873 - 1923 Fort St. John was moved directly across the Peace River to the north side onto what is today referred to as ’Old Fort’ subdivision outside of the city of Fort St. John.
1923 Frank Beatton moved Fort St. John to Fish Creek, located just outside of the town of Fort St. John.