The hamlet of Fort Vermilion is a must-see.
- Experimental Farm
- St. Henry’s Mission
- The Old Bay House
- Bourassa / St. Germain House
- Fort Vermilion Bridge
- St. Louis Church
- Walking & Driving Tour
Fort Vermilion is one of the oldest settlements in Alberta.
In 1788, Charles Boyer of the North West Company travelled up the Peace River and entered the lands of the Beaver and Cree. In 1792, Alexander Mackenzie stopped at Boyer’s Post enroute to the Pacific Ocean. Here, post residents traded for furs from the native trappers and sent the furs by river during the summer to exchange points in the east and ultimately to Montreal. The Hudson’s Bay Company competed fiercely with the North West Company for furs and foodstuffs that the native people supplied. In 1821, the two rivals united as the Hudson’s Bay Company.
The mighty Peace River was the original highway, first to and from Fort Chipewyan to the east and later, between Fort Vermilion and Peace River to the south. Explorers, Indians, traders, surveyors, and settlers travelled the river in canoes, York Boats, rafts, and stately river boats such as the S.S. Peace River, and the D.A. Thomas.
The thriving trade and settlement at Fort Vermilion influenced the political decision to strike the northern boundary of Alberta at 60 degrees north latitude. In 1905, the province of Alberta was formed and it included Fort Vermilion. It truly is “Where Alberta Began”.
In 1974 the bridge across the Peace River was opened and the region changed forever. Fort Vermilion no longer needed the ferry in summer and ice bridge in winter to link people and services across the river.
There’s More in the Frontier
Continue reading in our Brochure PDF (6.4MB) to discover more about the rich historical sites in and around Fort Vermilion.