Fort St. James

British Columbia. District Municipality
SE end of Stuart Lake
54.4444 N 124.2592 W — Map 093K08 — GoogleGeoHack
Name officially adopted in 1995
Official in BCCanada

Founded as a trading post by Simon Fraser of the North West Company in August 1806. It was referred to simply as Stuart Lake post until 1822 when it became Fort St. James. The reason for the new name is not known.

Hudson’s Bay Company governor George Simpson, visiting here in 1828, described the post as “the capital of Western Caledonia.” It was in fact the administrative centre for the Hudson Bay Company’s department of New Caledonia. The original buildings have all disappeared, but the local people are making a commendable effort to preserve the three surviving buildings which date from the late nineteenth century.

Labelled “Fort James” on Trutch’s 1871 map, presumably a mistake.

Fort St. James Post Office was opened 1 May 1899, seems to have closed the following year then re-opened 1 May 1905.


  • Akrigg, Helen B., and Akrigg, George Philip Vernon [1913–2001]. British Columbia Place Names. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997. Internet Archive
  • British Columbia Geographical Names. Fort St. James

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