Fort McLeod National Historic Site of Canada
Trout Lake Post
Poste Lac Trout
Lac de McLeod
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Fort McLeod National Historic Site of Canada is located on the west bank of Pack River at the north end of McLeod Lake, British Columbia. The site, set in the provincial heritage site, Fort McLeod Historic Park, consists of a workshop, a house, and a warehouse, which are situated within the fenced area of the fort. The small wooden buildings are topped with gable roof, and are simply constructed. Official recognition refers to the fenced area around the fort at the time of designation.
Fort McLeod was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1953 because:
- founded in 1805, it was the site of the first fur-trading post built by the North West Company west of the Rocky Mountains.
By the early 19th century, the fur trade was expanding westward over the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, and the North West Company found itself increasingly threatened by the Hudson’s Bay Company and American fur traders. As a result, in 1805, Simon Fraser of the North West Company led an expedition westward from Fort William on Lake Superior to secure the fur trade for the company on the west side of the Rocky Mountains. This newly discovered area was named New Caledonia.
Fraser sent a group of men up the Pack River to build a stockaded log fort at Trout Lake, which was later named Fort McLeod in honour of Archibald Norman, a senior North West Company partner. Fort McLeod became the base of the company’s fur trading operations in New Caledonia, and was the only liaison between the two sides of the Rocky Mountains for two decades. After the amalgamation of the North West and Hudson’s Bay companies in 1821, the fort remained an active trading post into the 20th century.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1953, 1954, 1977, 2009.
Key elements that contribute to the heritage character of the site include:
- its location on the west bank of the Pack River at the north end of McLeod Lake, British Columbia;
- the small, rectangular massing of the buildings, clad with wood siding and topped with gable roof;
- the simple, unadorned façades, pierced with multiple windows;
- the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent;
- viewscapes from the site across Pack River.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1805/01/01 to 1821/01/01
1805/01/01 to 1826/01/01
1821/01/01 to 1935/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Historic or Interpretive Site
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Trading Post
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection