Fort St James

FORT ST JAMES, district municipality, pop 1,355 (2006), lies at the southeast corner of Stuart Lk, 62 km north of VANDERHOOF. Founded as a FUR TRADE post for the NORTH WEST CO by Simon FRASER in 1806, it is the second-oldest continuously inhabited non-aboriginal community in BC. The post was in the territory of the DAKELH (Carrier), who still live at the nearby village of Nak'azdli, and it was considered the "capital" of NEW CALEDONIA for many years. Fort St James National Historic Park uses some of the old buildings to depict life at the post as it was in 1896. Incorporated in 1952, the community got an economic boost from the arrival of BC RAIL in the late 1960s. SAWMILLING has been the main economic activity, as well as some MINING.