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“For history.... or just for fun :)”

Fort St. James National Historic Site
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This completely restored Hudson’s Bay Company post, located on the shores of Stuart Lake, was an economic powerhouse of trade and commerce in the 19th Century. It is the largest group of original wooden buildings depicting the fur trade in Canada and portrays the relationship between the fur traders and the Carrier First Nation. Costumed interpreters provide a first hand look at how people lived, ate, worked and died more than a century ago.
British Columbia, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“For history.... or just for fun :)”
Reviewed November 23, 2012

Another place we visited when our kids were young---as a family and together with school groups. The staff was great, and even the kids who don't think they care so much for the history of it get pulled in by the interesting stories and the interpretive skits.

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1 Thank drj_sandseeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Any
English first
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Well worth a detour!”
Reviewed August 2, 2012

I only knew about this place because it was on a list of places we could go on our annual Parks Canada pass. But it was a really wonderful surprise. There are beautiful historic buildings on a lovely lake that were painstaking restored and kitted out with a huge number of period items. But the highlight was the wonderful guides. They were extremely knowledgeable about the area, history, and the restoration, and seemed genuinely pleased to be sharing what they know with visitors. Kids get to try their hand at fur trading which was great to watch, and we even got to try a traditional hunting method. Very fun. They also offer a rustic B&B which I'd like to do next time I visit.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Cafelow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Smithers, B.C.
Level 6 Contributor
358 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Small, period restoration, seasonal.”
Reviewed January 29, 2012

Guides in period costume. Beautiful setting on Stewart Lake.

Helpful?
Thank RonTSmithers_B_C_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Columbia, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Amazing structures, eye-opening interpretive displays, fun guides!”
Reviewed May 19, 2011

Our guide took his time to show us around the many, many structures of this site. He explained the interesting and significant construction of the buildings, and also fed us lots of interesting info about the history of who lived here. The community gardens and chickens were a great addition to the site, which is so beautifully located on Stuart Lake. The fur iand dried salmon were spectacular aids to imagining how the site must have looked in the fur trading days. Even though it was a chilly day, we still had a blast. Lots of great places to eat just a walk to the downtown, and our motel was also so close. It was a great visit to Fort St. James, and I'll never forget it!

Visited April 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank MissEm83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Central Orange County, CA
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Early British Columbian/ New Calendonian Historic Site”
Reviewed June 28, 2008

Per Parks Canada, here are the entry fees:

* Adult $7.80
* Senior $6.55
* Youth $3.90
* Family/Group $19.60
* Commercial Group, per person $5.80
School Groups, Entry and a Heritage Presentation Special Program, per student $3.90

Fort St. James is a national historic park and originally was a Hudson's Bay trading post founded in 1806. The visitors center offers a narrative of local history, including a brief film. The numerous period buildings are either restored or reconstructed, and the staff dress in 1890s's period costume to explain life in the fort and its operations.

When we visited there was a school field trip in progress. The staff prepared bannock (wheat flour cakes fried in oil) and corn on the cob. There was also a bison shooting exhibit in which the children tried to shoot a bison silouette with a sling shot and paint ball. Our 8-year old daughter enjoyed the staff's explanations of the fur trade and being able to compare the feel of various animal pelts.

The village of Fort St. James is about a 45-minute drive north from the Yellowhead near Vanderhoof at the foot of Stuart Lake. It is a bit off the beaten path, but well worth the drive to those interested in historic buildings and a glimpse into British Columbia's (originally "New Calendionia's") early written history.

Helpful?
1 Thank Shiroh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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