Fraser Lake is a small community of 1,000 located in BC’s north-central region on the Yellowhead Route #16 of the Trans-Canada, about 150 kilometres west of Prince George. Fraser Lake has a strong focus on outdoor recreation and growing tourism. The town is also home to the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, one of the largest Carrier First Nations in the region.
Fraser Lake History
The area has been the traditional territory of the Carrier First Nations for thousands of years. The Carrier people still make up a significant portion of the population in the region.
The area was named after Simon Fraser, who explored the area in 1806 on his journey down the Fraser River. Simon Fraser established Fort Fraser in 1806 as a North West Trading Company fur trading post (one of the oldest European-founded settlements in British Columbia).
During and after the 1860s, various gold discoveries in the area attracted many prospectors. The town of Fraser Lake was established in 1914 to serve as a commercial hub for the surrounding mining communities.
The arrival of the railway in 1951 brought new economic opportunities to the area. During the 1960s and 70s, the construction of the Kenney Dam (40 kilometres southwest of town), which created the Nechako Reservoir that flooded many riverside towns and villages, including the original townsite of Fraser Lake.
The current townsite was built on higher ground, adjacent to the Yellowhead Highway and the CN rail line and many of the residents of the flooded communities relocated to Fraser Lake.