Fraser River

Fraser River (49˚07'00" 123˚11'00" Flows NW from the Rocky Mtns, then S and W to the Str of Georgia). Named in 1813 by David Thompson, fellow officer and fur trader with the NWC, after Simon Fraser (1776–1862), superintendent of the district of New Caledonia. Fraser was born in Vermont, joined the NWC in 1792 and was made a partner a decade later. Given the task of developing trade W of the Rocky Mtns, he established Ft McLeod, the first permanent European settlement in what is now BC, in 1805, then Ft St James, Ft Fraser and, in 1807, Ft George, near the present site of Prince George. In 1808 he and 23 others made a famously difficult journey to the mouth of the Fraser, discovering to their regret that it was neither navigable nor connected to the Columbia R. Fraser retired in 1818 to become a farmer at Cornwall, Ont. His river was known by many names: Tacoutche Tesse, Cowichans’ R, Rio Floridablanca, New Caledonia R, Jackanet R. Dozens of non-coastal features and communities are named either for Simon Fraser or for the Fraser, which at 1,399 km is the longest river wholly within the province and contains in its basin 65 percent of BC’s population. E W

Aerial view of the Fraser River, looking east from the Port Mann Bridge. Courtesy Port Metro Vancouver