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Peace River, 1780-1914: From Athabasca to the Last Great West
Peace River Museum, Archives and Mackenzie Centre
Peace River , Alberta


   In 1914 the community of
Peace River Crossing in
northern Alberta was
incorporated as a village, an
important regional centre for
trade, business,
transportation and
institutions. The village was
home to over 700 people and a
major staging point for the

influx of settlers in search
of the “Last Great West,” the
Peace River region of
northern Alberta and British
Columbia. Five years earlier,
however, fewer than 100
people lived in the
settlement with not much in
the way of streets and
buildings. This Community

Memories exhibit traces the
remarkable evolution of Peace
River Crossing.
   The area around Peace
River Crossing had long been
a prized location, coveted by
the North West Company and
the Hudson’s Bay Company as a
central hub in their battle
for control of the fur trade

in western Canada. European
fur traders from the North
West Company had arrived in
the area in the late 18th
century, after Alexander
Mackenzie built Fort Fork
while exploring for the
Northwest Passage to the
Pacific Ocean. Mackenzie and
the other early fur traders

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