The Fur Trade - Jasper National Park, Alberta
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 52° 44.084 W 117° 57.292
11U E 435527 N 5843189
Quick Description: This marker is located at the confluence of the Whirlpool and Athabasca Rivers and describes the historical importance of this site to fur trade.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 8/3/2013 5:34:48 AM
Waymark Code: WMHQ4F
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member GeoKs
Views: 2

Long Description:
The Fur Trade

The Athabasca Portage was once a vital link in a major fur trade route which stretched from the St. Lawrence River, and later from Hudson’s Bay, to the Pacific Ocean.

Here the Athabasca Portage, a fur trading route over the Rockies, left the Athabasca River and followed the Whirlpool River upward to the Athabasca Pass. In the winter of 1810-11, David Thompson of the North West Company led the first fur trade brigade this way after Peigan Indians blocked his access to the more southerly Howse Pass. Until the mid-1850s the Athabasca Portage was regularly used to transport company furs, trade goods and mail, by horseback and foot.

George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company after its merge with the North West Company, crossed the portage in 1824. Upon reaching a small lake at the summit of the Great Divide, he and his men toasted the London Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company, naming the lake in their honour. Today, the lake is still known as the Committee's Punch Bowl. There, brigades from the west exchanged furs for trade goods with their partners from the east. Business was conducted and friendships were renewed.

Type of Marker: Cultural

Sign Age: Historic Site or Building Marker

Parking: The is a multi-car parking area here.

Placement agency: Jasper National Park

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