Jasper House National Historic Site of Canada

Alberta. National Historic Site: Athabasca River drainage
Foot of Jasper Lake on Athabasca River
53°8’18” N 117°58’50” W — Map 083F04 — GoogleGeoHack
Name officially adopted in 2001
Official in Canada

Jasper House National Historic Site is the site of a fur trading post on the Athabasca River that functioned in two different locations from 1813 to 1884 as a major staging and supply post for travel through the Canadian Rockies.

The post was originally named Rocky Mountain House, but was renamed to avoid confusion with the Rocky Mountain House trading post on the North Saskatchewan River, becoming “Jasper’s House” after the postmaster, Jasper Hawes, who operated the post from 1814 to 1817. The first location is believed to have been at the outlet of Brûlé Lake, downstream from the present site. The second Jasper House was established at the northern end of Jasper Lake in 1830, primarily serving travellers crossing Yellowhead Pass or Athabasca Pass.

The site operated until 1853, and was occasionally used until 1858 when it was reopened seasonally by Henry John Moberly, who operated it into the 1860s. The post was officially closed in 1884 after years of inactivity. From 1891 or 1892 to 1894 the house was used by miner Lewis Swift. The building was destroyed in 1909 when its lumber was used to make a raft by surveyors for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. Apart from a small cemetery, no significant ruins remain. It was designated a national historic site in 1924, and is marked by a commemorative stone and plaque.

References:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *