Trip 121 - September 10, 2016 (Saturday)

Fort St. James National Historic Site


Location:
Town of Fort St. James, British Columbia - on Highway 27 North of Vanderhoof, about 2 hours driving from Prince George.

Liked: Historical artefacts, chicken and ducks, very friendly staff.

Of note: Much of Fort St. James NHS is open seasonally (June - September).

Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Fort St. James Coordinates: Page 25 (Fort St. James) A4. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available at BackroadMapbooks.com.

Related Website: Fort St. James National Historic Site - Parks Canada.



Fort St. James National Historic Site features several buildings filled with artefacts pertaining to the era when Europeans and Aboriginals exchanged goods for furs to the mutual benefit. This trading post was established in 1806, and is restored to its condition as of 1896, when Alexander Murray was the manager. We have visited closer to the end of the season, and there were very few other people. Which meant we have received a whole lot of attention from the awesome staff - this may or may not be what you desire, but the staff have the keys to the houses with artefacts, so you will have to rely on your guides to show you what's inside. The outside, though, is fine too - the views are quite good. The price of admission is humane, and you get to check out lots of resident chicken, a few ducks, some goats, and even a horse.

1. To get to Fort St. James, you need to turn North from Highway 16 to Highway 27 just West of Vanderhoof, which, in turn, is about an hour West of Prince George. Here we are already on Highway 27 en route to Fort St. James.

2. Slightly over 50 kilometers after turning from Highway 16, we are in Fort St. James.

3. Then just follow the signs to the National Historic Site.

4. Here is the parking lot. Coordinates: N 54'26'351 W 124'15'325. Elevation: 687 meters.

5. Closer to the entrance.

6. A general map of the place.

7. A more detailed map of the place.

8. What this is all about.

9. There is a small exhibit area just past the entrance, next to the cashier and a small gift shop.

10. A pensive moose greets the exhibit area visitors.

11. A sturgeon swims in a tank.

12. The best part is the photographs of the real people who lived in and visited the houses you are about to enter. Alexander Murray was a manager of Fort St. James trading post.

13. They look at you from these photographs, frozen in time, yet so real.

14. Aboriginal women.

15. Now it's time to visit the house of Alexander Murray's family. Lots of chicken, some ducks and a few goats live nearby.

16. Inside the Murray house.

17. A work desk.

18. Dining area.

19. Bedroom for a guest, if we recall correctly.

20. Queen Victoria ruled the empire back in the day.

21. These folks sure had a nice view.

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22. Really nice.

23. And the trading occurred in the house closest to us in the photo below.

24. This was the Canadian Tire of the 19th century. Except, instead of a credit card or cash, you had to pay with furs.

25. A wide choice of indispensable goods.

26. That would be three beaver pelts, please.

There are a few other houses to visit and a few other things to do. Overall, it's quite a neat place. Certainly recommended.

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