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Fort St. James National Historic Site of Canada

Natural Wonders & Cultural Treasures

Warf and Tramway (1894-1914)

Tramway
© Parks Canada

The tramway is the culmination of many years spent refining trade and transportation routes on the Pacific slope. It recalls the relatively short period of time when schooners and steamers plied the waters of Stuart and Babine Lakes and the mighty Skeena, Fraser, and Nechako Rivers. By then pack trains of horses and mules, and teamsters with draft horses, oxen and wagons had replaced the dog teams, canoes and boats of earlier days. All would eventually fade in 1914, when the railroad, and then cars and highways, forever changed the way goods move and men and women work in the northern interior of British Columbia.

Tramway
© Parks Canada

In the 1890s, the tramway was the fur traders' connection to the rest of Canada and the world. Places such as Fort Langley, Rocky Mountain House, Lower Fort Gary, Fort Walsh, Fort Battleford and the Chilkoot Trail were common points on the travel maps of the day. Today the tramway is a visual link that continues to connect us to these and more places that are now part of the family of Canada's National Historic Sites. Our vast country and those who built it are commemorated in these special places throughout the land. Collectively they are woven into the tapestry of Canada's story and are a part of the Canadian spirit.