Ella Frye Creek

British Columbia. Creek: North Thompson River drainage
Flows SE into North Thompson River, NW of junction with Albreda River
52.6167 N 119.6333 W — Map 83D/12 — GoogleGeoHack
Name officially adopted in 1963
Official in BCCanada
This creek appears on:
Zillmer maps of Cariboo 1939-1948 [1939]
Ella Frye, first registered female trapper, 1933

Ella Frye, first registered female trapper, 1933
Valemount & Area Museum

Ella Frye [1907–1995] trapped on the North Thompson river for over 50 years. Ella was born at Red Deer, Alberta, while her family was moving west from North Dakota. In 1911 her parents Fred and Edith (Bronson) arrived at Tête Jaune Cache, and soon afterwards moved to Albreda. Grandfather Bronson started teaching her trapping when she was six years old. “It got into my blood and I kept at it,” Ella said. She married Tom Smith around 1926. In 1933, she started trapping on the North Thompson.

In 1971, according to a report in the local newspaper, she was “the only woman in the area who is a licensed trapper.” Among her siblings were brothers Mike (“Small Frye”) [1911–1988] and Jules [1916–1980] and sister Francis [Knutson].

Francis’s husband Louis Knutson said that he started the trap line on this creek in 1910 and after spending a few years away from the area gave it to Ella.


  • Zillmer, Raymond T. [1887–1960]. “The exploration of the Cariboo Range from the east.” American Alpine Journal, 5:2 (1944):261-274. American Alpine Club
  • Valemount Historic Society. Yellowhead Pass and its People. Valemount, B.C.: 1984
  • Robson Valley Courier. Weekly newspaper published by Pyramid Press of Jasper from 1968–88 (1968–1988).
  • Wheeler, Marilyn. The Robson Valley Story. McBride, B.C.: Sternwheeler Press, 2008
  • Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History. B.C.’s first registered female trapper. 2020 CBIRH. CBIRH
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