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Key Number: HS 75284
Site Name: Fort Dunvegan
Other Names:
Site Type: 0417 - Mercantile/Commercial: Fur Trading Post


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
80 4 6

Town: Dunvegan
Near Town:


Type Number Date View


Plan Shape:
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Exterior: N/A
Interior: N/A
Environment: N/A
Condition: N/A
Alterations: N/A


Construction: Construction Date:
Usage: Usage Date:

Owner: Owner Date:

Architect: N/A
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History: Established 1805 by Archibald Norman McLeod for Northwest Co. to replace Fort Fork. Named in honor of home of the head of McLeod clan on Isle of Skye. For over ten years there was no competition in the area. Dunvegan became headquarters for Simon Fraser's campaign to extend NW Co's operations into B.C. (this from its first year 1805).
Dunvegan quickly became a large important and well-equipped post with food readily available in great abundance and variety augmented by successful gardens.
St. Mary's House established in area by H.B.C. in 1818 Competition for Dunvegan.
1821 - The Union of NWCo. HBC, St. Mary's house abandoned and Dunvegan became HBC headquarters for the region, with Colin Campbell, its NW Co. factor still in charge.
Hostility from the Indians, prompted partly by the centralization of the fur trade post in the area, led Hugh Faries, Dunvegans Chief Trader to abandon Dunvegan as well as Rocky Mtn. Porage Fort St. John in 1825.
Spring 1828 - Calin Campbell established Fort Dunvegan, apparently on the same location. Next 50 years was a period of gradual decline Indian population naviaged by epidemics; beaver, the staple fur, depleted; after 1830 Bison population greatly depleted. However gardening increased in importance and Dunvegan remained most important trading centre on Peace River.
1866 - A permanent R.C. Mission established at H. Dunvegan by Fr. Christopher Tissier. St. Charles Mission.
In 1870's several scientific explorers and travelers visited Dunvegan, reporting great agricultural potential.
1878 - HBC decided to rebuilt Ft. Dunvegan first erecting a factor's house. The new Fort took stage a 'gunshot east' of the old Fort.
Agriculture became even more important at the new fort.
Anglican Mission established in 1879 by Thomas Bunn, replaced 3 years later by Rev. John Gough Brick who conducted many agricultural experiments encouraged the Indians to take up gardening and experiment with farming on the Prairie level above the Valley.
1883 - Ft. Emil Grouard unplaced Fr. Tessier at the Catholic mission (building present church 1883-85).
Beginning in 1886 the importance of Dunvegan began to decline rapidly.
Headquarters of HBC was moved to Lesser Slave Lake, Ft. Dunvegan became an outpost.
By 1890 the fur trade was almost at an end, but Dunvegan continued to be important as an agricultural centre, the HBC operated a small ranch 20 miles to the south.
Dunvegan continued its decline however.
With railway charters being issued and railway construction into the Peace District began (1913) Dunvegan City was conceived. Large ploto of land around Dunvegan surveyed into city lots between 1912 and 1914 and put on the market in Edmonton and other major western cities.
None of the railroads reached Dunvegan, which was finally closed as a post in 1918.

* * *
Plaque status: Plaqued in 1951
Site of 1805 North West Company post


Status: Status Date:

Designation Status: Designation Date:
Federally Designated
Provincial Historic Resource
Record Information: Record Information Date:
S. Khanna 1993/11/16


Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0208
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