When you step into Fort St. James National Historic Site, you are greeted by our friendly staff at the visitor centre, eager to send you on your way to an 1800’s era fur trade adventure. Each building has activities and stories to be told and help relive what 1896 was like. Upon arrival, you are given a brochure to guide you through these exciting learning opportunities
The Furs Have Arrived!
At the Fur Warehouse
© Parks Canada
Imagine the sweat, toil and the life of a labourer for the company at Fort St. James. The Routes of Old: Fort St. James was the centre of a network of trails and routes connecting posts, communities and the country. Learn and see the Animals of the Trade. What animals made commerce tick? What was the most expensive pelt? Have your questions answered during this fur pelt prop talk in the Fur Warehouse.
Take a Load Off
Inside the Men's House © Parks Canada
Relax in our frontier version of a recliner, have a stick of salmon jerky or try a potent cup of trail coffee or tea fit for any company worker. Write yourself a postcard of your personal experiences at Fort St. James during your visit & appreciate the importance of social life in an isolated Fur post in New Caledonia such as this.at the Trade Store
Bartering and Diplomacy
Inside the Trade Store © Parks Canada
Bring your pelt into the store for a trade.? Did you catch it yourself? Work up a good story and see what you can get from the company clerk for your trouble. Kickapoo Cough Cure? Some of the early trade items have stories and interesting facts unto themselves. See some of these items first hand; imagine what you’d be looking for if you were a trader in the 1800’s.
at the Officer’s House pic
Chores, Chores, Chores
At the Officers' House
© Parks Canada
Help us feed the animals that were an important part of fur trade life in the 1890’s. Feed the sheep, chickens and other livestock at the site at any given time. Race those Chickens! Every day in July and August, we race our historic site chickens down our custom built track. Bet on your winning clucker with our chicken bucks and win an admission pass for your next historic site visit. We also have several Tasty Experiences awaiting you here.
Early Hunting Skills
Try throwing atlatls and try your hand at archery. Learn about early archaeological sites in the region, and the hunting skills and weapons that hunters used for thousands of years before and during the fur trade.
Daily Adventures On Your Own
At the Fish Cache
The Fish Cache
© Parks Canada
See and learn about the Fish of the Fur Trade, hanging from the rafters. See first hand how important salmon, sturgeon and other fish were. Learn about Stuart Lake species of today and what’s being done to look after them (check out the new fish tank in the visitor centre also!).
At the Tanning Cabin
Tanning hides © Parks Canada
Find a self-guided interpretive display about local wildlife, Carrier culture and traditional hide tanning. See local crafters in action when workshops are being held. Moccasin making, hide tanning and other skills often available for viewing & sometimes for purchase.
Historic Games for You
Visitors enjoying historic games © Parks Canada
A number of activities and traditional games including tug of war, relay races, badminton and croquet are available for your use near the Officer’s House: suitable for all ages!
Walk the Ripples of the Past
Visitors enjoying the Ripples of the Past walk © Parks Canada
Continue your historical adventures by walking the Ripples of the Past Interpretive Walk. 2km one way past a number of historical locations in the community of Fort St. James. Views are spectacular. Sturdy shoes, a backpack with food, water, bug repellant and your camera are highly recommended.
Other Experiences to Discover