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From trading post to a bustling town, it was the little community that could.

Over one hundred years ago, Jasper Forest Park first came to be and was named after the popular fur trading post operator, Jasper Hawes. By 1911, the Park saw the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway line reach Mile 112. What was then called the town of Fitzhugh - flourished around the new railway station, and by 1913 the name was changed to Jasper to complement the Park. A community was born and stone and timber were turned in to the historical treasures we still see today.

To take in the charm of Jasper is to linger in the heart of the town and wander back in time at the sight of the Jasper National Park Information Centre, the train station, post office, old fire hall, Jackman House, Robson House and CIBC buildings.

Channel your inner- explorer and embark on a memorable tour of Jasper's rich history that includes storied adventures of the early settlers, railway pioneers and outfitter guides who created a life amidst the majestic Rockies. Visit the Jasper-Yellowhead Museum & Archives (http://www.jaspermuseum.org) at 400 Pyramid Lake Road.

Jasper Timeline

  • 1810 - David Thompson, surveyor, makes first recorded visit to Alberta's Athabasca Valley.
  • 1813 - North West Company builds supply depot on Brule Lake, which becomes known as Jasper House after clerk Jasper Hawes
  • 1820 - Iroquois trader, Pierre Bostonnais, guides Hudson's Bay Company through northern Rockies. His light-coloured hair results in nickname "Tete Jaune" or "Yellowhead.".
  • 1845 - Father P.J. deSmet, Jesuit missionary, records the name "La riviere maligne," or "wicked river", now known as Jasper's Maligne River.
  • 1859 - The Earl of Southesk, first recorded "tourist", visits what is now Jasper National Park.
  • 1862 - The Overlanders, 115 adventurers suffer many hardships on their journey through Yellowhead Pass to seek fortunes in the B.C. goldfields.
  • 1884 - Jasper House is abandoned as fur trade declines.
  • 1897 - A.E. Snyder, of the North West Mounted Police, makes first patrol from Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1898 - Columbia Icefield discovered.
  • 1907 - Dominion Government establishes Jasper Forest Park, setting aside an area of 13,000 km.
  • 1908 - Mary Schaffer, widow from Pennsylvania, follows Stoney Indian trails to discover Jasper's Maligne Lake.
  • 1910 - Payments made to settlers forced to leave Alberta's Athabasca Valley due to formation of Park; with the exception of Lewis Swift.
  • 1911 - Grand Trunk Pacific Railway reaches Fitzhugh (now Jasper, Alberta) Station.
  • 1911 - Interprovincial Boundary Survey started by A.O. Wheeler, takes 14 years to complete. This process named many geographical places in Jasper, Alberta.
  • 1913 - Present Jasper Information Centre is built as Jasper Park Superintendent's residence.
  • 1914 - First school opens in Jasper Alberta.
  • 1915 - Tent City built at Lac Beauvert during railway construction, eventually becomes Jasper Park Lodge.
  • 1916 - Jasper Park's Mount Edith Cavell is named to honour heroic British nurse executed during WWI for assisting prisoners of war to escape German-occupied Belgium.
  • 1925 - First Ascent of Mount Alberta by Japanese Mountaineers.
  • 1928 - The Jasper-Edmonton road opens.
  • 1930 - Jasper officially established as a National Park in Alberta.
  • 1970 - The Yellowhead Inter-Provincial Highway is officially opened. It would later be known as the Trans-Canada Yellowhead Highway 16.
  • 1971 - The importance of the Yellowhead Pass as a travel corridor receives official recognition. It is designated as national historic site.
  • 1984 - This park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with the other national and provincial parks that form the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks,