Opening New Caledonia - Opening New Caledonia - Timeline 1805 - 1850
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1805 - 1850

The effects of settlers in the Fraser Fort George Region began with the establishment of forts and fur trading posts by early European explorers. Fort George was named in honour of King George III of England, and was built by the North West Company in 1807 at the confluence of the Nechako and Fraser Rivers. It is not known if the `Fort' itself was constructed with the traditional walled palisade and bastions. The records which have survived describe a trading post that exchanged supplies with trappers and explorers. Hugh Faries was put in charge of the post and is the first known European settler at Fort George.

In 1821, the North West Company was purchased by the Hudson┐s Bay Company. Fort George became an important stopping point along the supply route to Fort St. James, then the capital of New Caledonia. The fur production at Fort George was about 1,000 bales per year, which was small in comparison to Fort St. James' 2,000 and Fort McLeod's 2,500 bales per year.

In 1827, the Yellowhead Pass was discovered by an Iroquois trapper who would cache his furs in an area that would become known as Tete Jaune Cache. Although the Fraser was a good route east from New Caledonia to Jasper House, the fur traders continued to move the furs through Fort McLeod and down the Peace River.

Sometime during the 1840s, Christian missionaries and Roman Catholic priests began travelling through the area to hold services. There is also evidence that a flour mill that operated at Fort George supplied flour to Fort Fraser, Fort St. James and Fort McLeod. It is believed that in 1850 the original post at Fort George was dismantled, as its significance on the fur trade routes had diminished.

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