Colin Range

Alberta. Range
E of Athabasca River vicinity of Jasper
52.9667 N 117.95 W — Map 083C13 — GoogleGeoHack
Name officially adopted in 1956
Official in Canada

Name given by James Hector [1834–1907] in 1859 after Colin Fraser of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Fraser was in charge of Jasper House from 1835 to 1849.

[Lake St Ann’s] is a pretty sheet of water, several miles in length, its shores dotted on the western side by forty or fifty houses, and a church. Mr. Colin Fraser, the Company’s officer, treated us very kindly. He had been thirty-eight years in the country, seventeen of which he had spent at the solitary post of Jasper House.… Mr Fraser had not seen Fort Garry for thirty years, and for fifteen had not been further than Edmonton, yet he was happy and contented as possible.

[Paul Kane] travelled with a party of Hudson’s Bay Company a men, among them an Iroquois and a Scot, both of whom won his admiration. The Indian fell into the water and was fished out nearly frozen. Asked if he were cold, he answered with true Indian Stoicism, “My clothes are cold; but I am not.” The Scot was Colin Fraser, whose name we know. He was brought out by Sir George Simpson in the capacity of piper. Accompanying the little Governor, Colin, clad in Highland costume, carried his bagpipes and when at the forts astonished the natives who took him to be a relative of the Great Spirit. Indeed, an Indian once besought Colin to intercede for him with the Great Spirit. “The petitioner little knew how limited was his influence” in that high sphere. And now Colin was a clerk of the Great Company and in charge of Jasper House. The party encountered a storm which lasted nearly three days, but horses had been sent down from Jasper House to meet them, and finally they arrived at the post, cold and wet and famished. A blazing fire welcomed them and ample mountain mutton. Kane describes the post as consisting of three log buildings: a dwelling of two rooms, each some fifteen feet square, one used by Indians, voyageurs, traders-men, women and children huddled together promiscuously, and one used exclusively by Colin Fraser, his Cree wife and nine “interesting children.” The second building was a storehouse for grub when they could get any, and the third seemed to be a dog kennel. Kane made a sketch of the place while an Indian made him a pair of snowshoes.

Elizabeth Parker regarding the 1846 trip of Paul Kane [1810–1871]

  • Milton, William Wentworth Fitzwilliam [1839–1877], and Cheadle, Walter Butler [1835–1910]. The North-West Passage by Land. Being the narrative of an expedition from the Atlantic to the Pacific, undertaken with the view of exploring a route across the continent to British Columbia through British territory, by one of the northern passes in the Rocky Mountains. London: Cassell, Petter and Galpin, 1865. Internet Archive
  • Canadian Board on Geographical Names. Place-names of Alberta. Published for the Geographic Board by the Department of the Interior. Ottawa: Department of the Interior, 1928. Hathi Trust
  • Parker, Elizabeth [1856–1944]. “Early Explorers of the West (Part 3).” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 31 (1948):95–105
  • Colin Fraser. 2020 Mountain Metis. Mountain Metis

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