Frances Lake Post

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Frances Lake Post (1842-1851, 1934-1949) - A Hudson's Bay Company trading post and fort first established by Robert Campbell in 1842 on the western side of the narrows at the confluence of East and West Arm of Frances Lake, Yukon. Abandoned in 1851. Reestablished in 1934 on the opposing shore from the first post. Abandoned in 1949. Also known as Glenlyon House and Fort Frances.

Frances Bay Post I (1842-1851)

Established as a Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) trading post in August 1842 by Robert Campbell. Campbell had earlier explored the area but he had not encountered a single local native. As a result of the glowing reports he sent back to the HBC he was instructed to establish the new post at Frances Lake. He chose a site near a landmark peak he labeled Simpson’s Tower, the post was first called Glenlyon House, and then Fort Frances. This was the first HBC post built within the present-day boundaries of the Yukon Territory.

The Frances Lake Post was part of the HBC trading route into the interior of the Yukon's territory until 1851. That route proved to be too difficult because the rapids along the Liard and Frances River were dangerous and lives were lost navigating them.

Supplying the post was extremely difficult, and other easier trading routes were discovered. Also, differences with various Native groups that were afraid of losing their established trade monopoly in the region led to the closure of the trading route.

Frances Bay Post II (1934-1949)

In 1934, the Frances Lake Post was reestablished but on the opposite side of the lake from the first post.

World War II (1939-1945)

The construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942 bypassed Frances Lake. The trading post soon lost its importance. The post did served as a weather and radio station for air traffic during World War II. The small community at the post remained only as long as the post stayed in operation and with the closure in 1949 the community drifted away.

Road construction and the general evolution of the area after the war generated plenty of employment, and the living conditions, both for Whites and First Nations, improved considerably.

With the closure of the trading post in 1949, most people moved away and the place was abandoned.

Current Status

Parts of the 1940s cabin remain. Some remains of the 1940s buildings and gravesites at the site.

Location: Frances Lake, Yukon.

Maps & Images

Lat: 61.27348 Long: -129.29053

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