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Fort Dunvegan National Historic Site of Canada

close to Highway 2, Dunvegan, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1947/05/21

Undated view of Fort Dunvegan showing a small core of buildings partially surrounded by a low fence or palisade in the area of the factor’s house, which is partially hidden at centre left. The office building is located on the right; Provincial Archives of Alberta, B. 2828
Undated view of Fort Dunvegan
Image of HSMBC plaque at Fort Dunvegan; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Plaque photo
No Image

Other Name(s)

Fort Dunvegan
Fort Dunvegan
Fort Dunvegan National Historic Site of Canada

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2012/07/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Fort Dunvegan National Historic Site of Canada is situated in Alberta’s Peace River Valley in the town of Dunvegan, 27 kilometres south of Fairview, Alberta. Situated on the northern shore of Peace River the site consists of the remains of the fort established there in 1805 by Archibald Norman McLeod as well as the modern-day interpretation centre. Fort Dunvegan was a substantial trading post between 1805 and 1918. A Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque which was erected in 1951 stands in the vicinity of the original fort. Official recognition refers to a rectangular area within Historic Dunvegan Provincial Park of Alberta.

Heritage Value

Fort Dunvegan was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1947 because:
- it was, for many years, the most important post in the Peace River Valley;
- it was a centre for the fur trade, a link in the chain of communication westward into British Columbia; and,
- it was the scene of early missionary enterprise and agricultural experiment.

In 1804 the North West Company and the XY Company amalgamated and the Northwest Company’s uppermost fort on the Peace River, Fort Fork, was abandoned; it was decided that a new fort would be established further upriver. In 1805 Archibald Norman McLeod established the new North West Company’s Fort Dunvegan on the northern bank of the Peace River. Fort Dunvegan was a substantial post including blockhouses and a magazine in addition to houses for the master and men of the fort. The fort was also the site of agricultural experiments carried out by Frederick Goedlike and Reverend John Gough Brick. In 1821 the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company amalgamated and Fort Dunvegan became a Hudson`s Bay Company post. Hostilities with Aboriginal people in the area of the Peace River Valley in 1823 resulted in the 1825 abandonment of the fort by Chief Trader Hugh Faries. Fort Dunvegan was re-opened by Chief Trader Colin Campbell three years later and continued to operate as a major provision post until its closure in 1918.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include: - its location on the north bank of the Peace River, in western Alberta; - its strategic location on fertile land in the Peace River Valley and in close proximity to the buffalo ranges of Alberta; - the original factor’s house including its white washed, squared-log construction and cedar-shingled hipped roof; - the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent; - the unimpeded viewscapes from the site across the Peace River.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1805/01/01 to 1918/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Aboriginal Ritual Site

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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