Crowsnest Highway

2.5B BP - 1837
1837 - 1862
1862 - 1872
1872 - 1882
1882 - 1887
1887 - 1890
1890 - 1893
1893 - 1896
1896 - 1898
1898 - 1899
1899 - 1901
1901 - 1903
1903 - 1906
1906 - 1910
1910 - 1913
1913 - 1917
1917 - 1922
1922 - 1930
1930 - 1939
1939 - 1949
1949 - 1962
1962 - 1974
1974 - 2000
2000 - 2010
2010 - 2016

Time Line
for South-western Canada
Page 1 (2.5B BP - 1837)

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2.5B BPFirst Ice Age. Huronian.
40M BPPresent Ice Age begins in Antarctic and affecting North America by three million years Before Present. Four major advances: Nebraskan, Kansan, Illinoian and Wisconsinan.
30M BPRockies begin to rise.
12,000 BPBegins the retreat of the Wisconsinan ice sheet from southern Canada.
1519Hernando ‘Hernán’ Cortéz returned horses to North America near what is today Vera Cruz, Mexico.
1608July 3Samuel de Champlain et al officially found the settlement of Québec.
1610Henry Hudson sails the Discovery into what is now the Canadian bay named after him. There he overwintered, much to the displeasure of his crews who mutiny’d in the spring and set Hudson and his supporters adrift to perish on the waters of the Bay.
1659Looking for furs, Pierre Ésprit Radisson and Médard Chouart (Sieur Des Groseilliers) explore from the St. Laurence valley to Hudson Bay.
1668Piloted by Médard Chouart, the first English merchant ship, the Nonsuch, sails into Hudson Bay for furs.
1669Piloted by Pierre Radisson, the second English merchant ship, the Wivenhoe, sails into Hudson Bay for furs.
1670May 2Royal assent granted by Charles II incorporating the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Tradeing into Hudson’s Bay: Pro Pelle Cutem; “for the fleece (we want) the skin.”
1680CircaSpanish settlers forced to leave the Santa Fé area, abandoning some horses.
1682René-Robert Cavelier (Sieur de La Salle) claimed the watershed of the Mississippi for Louis XIV of France.
1690Henry Kelsey of the HBC leaves York Factory, beginning a two-year adventure into the hinterland of North America. Attached himself to an Assiniboine band.
1725circaThe Ktunaxa and Shoshoni peoples intoduce the Horse to the Niitsi-tapi—Blackfoot—nations.
1730circaUntil circa 1750 the “Cluny Site” on what is now Indian Reserve No. 148 on the Bow River east of Calgary, Alberta, occupied by maize growers.
1743Louis-Joseph Gautier, son of Pierre Gauthier de Varennes, Sieur de La Vérandrye, sees the Rocky Mountains (likely in what is now Wyoming, US of A.)
1754June 26Anthony Henday departs York Factory on a venture of exploration onto the Plains.
1754Oct 15Anthony Henday encounters Blackfoot on the Prairies south of Battle River.
1755June 23Henday returns to York Factory.
1759Sep. 13Battle of the Plains of Abraham.
1759Sep. 18Ville de Québec surrenders to Wolfe’s forces.
1760sSmall-pox savages the Peoples of North America west of the Rockies.
1760Oct. 25George II of England dies.
1763Feb. 7Louis XV signs the draft of the Treaty of Paris, surrendering all French claim to North American territories, save for the islands of St. Pierre et Miquelon off the inside coast of Newfoundland.
1763Feb. 10Ambassadors and plenipotentiaries representing the kings of Great Britain, of France and of Spain, and from various other principalities and dukedoms in Europe signed the Treaty of Paris officially ending the Seven Years War.
1763Oct. 7Royal Proclimation of George III Rex of Great Britain declares that “...[Aboriginals] should not be molested or disturbed in the Possession of such Parts of Our Dominions and Territories as, not having been ceded to or purchased by Us ...,” at the same time that it assumes that all lands in British territories belong to the Crown.
1769Louis XV of France transfers “Louisiana” to Carlos III of Spain.
1770Apr. 30David Thompson born in London.
1771July 18Samuel Hearne reached Arctic Ocean at the mouth of the Coppermine River.
1772AutumnThe HBC sends Matthew Cocking to overwinter with the Niitsitapi.
1774Samuel Hearne established Cumberland House, first Hudson’s Bay Company post inland.
1778Peter Pond, an independent trader from New England trespassing in Rupert’s Land, discovers the Methye Portage between the Arctic and the Hudson Bay watersheds in what is now Saskatchewan.
1781/2WinterSmallpox ravages Plains Indians. Half the Blackfoot—Niitsitapi—die.
1781Isaac Batts, sent by the HBC to overwinter with the Blackfoot: dies in their company.
1783After several years of trying, the “peddlers” of Montreal establish the North West Company of Merchants from Canada.
1784Three Saints Bay on Kodiak Island, now Alaska: Grigorii Shelikhov establishes first permanent Russian outpost in the north-eastern Pacific.
1785HBC established South Branch House on the South Saskatchewan River near today’s St. Louis, Saskatchewan.
1787Amalgamation of North West Company and Gregory, McLeod and Company.
1787Phillip Turnor of the HBC, and apprentice David Thompson, walk the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies from the North Saskatchewan River to the Bow River.
1789July 14Alexander Mackenzie reaches Arctic Ocean at the mouth of Mackenzie River.
1790McTavish, Frobisher and Company gain control of North West Company.
1792HBC establishes Buckingham House on the North Saskatchewan River near the mouth of the Vermilion.
1792DecemberHaving travelled down the Eastern Slopes from the North Saskatchewan River, Peter Fidler of the HBC meets Ktunaxa hunters in the Livingstone Gap on the Oldman River in southern Alberta.
1793July 22Alexander Mackenzie of the North West Company arrives at salt water in Dean Channel of Bentinck Arm on the Pacific Coast.
1794William Tomison of the Hudson’s Bay Company establishes Fort Edmonton in Rupert’s Land.
1794Nov. 19Jay’s Treaty establishes the Boundary from Lake Superior to the northwest corner of Lake o’ the Woods, then due north or south to the 49º of parallel and west or east to the valley of the Mississippi.
1795AutumnHBC builds Fort Edmonton.
1795OctoberNWC builds Fort Augustus on the North Saskatchewan River near what is now Edmonton, AB.
1796Feb. 29Jay’s Treaty proclaimed. Defines boundary between Loyalist and rebel territories.
1797May 23David Thompson resigns from the Hudson’s Bay Coy. and joins the North West Company.
1798XY Company founded.
1798AutumnIn the Rocky Mountain foothills on the North Saskatchewan River, Jno. McDonald of Garth establishes Rocky Mountain House for North West Company. Jas. Curtis Bird establishes Hudson’s Bay Company’s Acton House nearby.
1799June 10David Thompson weds Charlotte Small.
1799Dec.St. Petersburg, Russia: Russian-American Company founded.
1800circaBegins a savage 10-year small-pox epidemic among the Native Peoples of North America west of the Rockies. Bands destroyed, social fabric wrent, starvation.
1800Alexander Mackenzie joins XY Company which now also known as Sir Alexander Mackenzie and Company.
1800Rupert’s Land: William Tomison and Peter Fidler establish Chesterfield House for the Hudson’s Bay Coy. on the South Saskatchewan River near the mouth of the Red Deer.
1800The North West Company instructs David Thompson to travel to cross the Rockies and claim the Pacific watershed for the Company. Thompson sends Le Blanc and Legacè to winter with the Ktunaxa. Did not return.
1800Oct. 1The Secret Treaty of Ildefonso returns “Louisiana” to the portfolio of France.
1801Duncan McGillivray of the North West Company is supposed to have crossed the Rockies via the White Man’s Pass and down Kootenay River to Kootenay Lake.
1801Jan. 30Pierre-Jean de Smet born at Termonde (Dendermonde), Belgium.
1803The Canada Jurisdiction Act permits courts in Lower Canada (and from 1821, Upper Canada) to try cases originating in the fur districts.
1803The North West Company moves its field headquarters from Grand Portage to Fort William.
1803Apr. 30Louisiana Purchase. U.S.A. pays France $15,000,000 for 800,000 sq. miles of central North America (4¢/acre).
1803Aug. 11Westminster passes Canada Jurisdiction Act in attempt to quell hostilities between the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company.
1803Dec. 20Louisiana Purchase officially takes effect.
1804 Sitka Island, now Alaska: The Russian-American Company establishes headquarters at New Archangel.
1804May 14In their keelboat, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and the Corps of Discovery depart their winter camp on the eastern shore of the Mississippi, cross the River and head up the Missouri.
1804July 6Simon McTavish of North West Company dies.
1804Nov. 5XY Company re-absorbed into the North West Company.
1805Nov. 14Lewis and Clark reach the Pacific at the mouth of the Columbia River. Build Ft. Clatsop to o’erwinter.
1806JuneReuban Fields of Meriwether Lewis’s party killed a Piikani warrior near Maria’s Pass.
1807John Palliser born.(1887)
1807May 10David Thompson and family and assistants depart Rocky Mountain House to cross the Great Divide.
1807June 30Thompson expedition reaches the Columbia River after crossing the Rockies westward via the Howse Pass.
1807Aug. 15Thompson party completes Kootenae House on Canterbury Point on Lake Windermere in the Rocky Mountain Trench.
1807Oct. 27Stockade around Kootenae House completed.
1808SpringDavid Thompson, et al, explore southward down the Rocky Mountain Trench.
1808Apr. 8Duncan McGillivray, chief partner of the North West Company, dies in Montréal.
1808May 14The Thompson party reaches “Flat Bow Lake” (Kootenay Lake).
1808Late MayDavid Thompson and crew work their way up “McDonald’s” (Moyie) River.
1808July 2Simon Fraser of the North West Company reaches salt water at the mouth of the Fraser River.
1808July 22David Thompson reaches Rainy River House on the Saskatchewan River. Returns to Kootenai House that autumn.
1808NovemberDavid Thompson sends Finan McDonald down the Kootenay River to establish Kootenai Falls House near the Jennings Canyon, now lost beneath Koocanusa Lake.
1809Sep. 10David Thompson of the NWC locates the site of Kullyspell House in the eastern shores of Pend d’Oreille Lake.
1909NovemberDavid Tompson establishes “Saleesh” House at Thompson Falls on the Clark Fork River.
1810Jaco Findlay builds Spokane House on the Spokane River to trade with the Se’lish.
1810W.P. Hunt leading a Pacific Fur Company expedition overland to the mouth of the Columbia River.
1810JulyThe Se’lish involve Nor’Westers Finan McDonald and Baptiste Buché in a skirmish with the Piikani who thereafter regard all Whites as foes.
1810WinterThe Piikani force David Thompson to winter at Rocky Mountain House rather than returning to New Caledonia.
1811Mar. 6Lord Selkirk, Hudson’s Bay Coy. stock holder, pays the Coy. 10 shillings for 74 million acres of land in Red River valley.
1811Mar. 22Pacific Fur Company’s ship Tonquin arrives at mouth of Columbia River where company employees immediately build Fort Astoria.
1811June 12Hudson’s Bay Company transfers Red River lands to Lord Selkirk.
1811July 15David Thompson reached mouth of the Columbia to find the PFC Fort Astoria and learn that the PFC had already claimed the region.
1811July 26First shipload of Selkirk settlers departs the United Kingdom.
1811Sep. 6Up-river bound, David Thompson and his voyageurs of the North West Company cross today’s “Tin-Cup Rapids” at the confluence of the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers.
1811Sep. 16David Stuart of the Pacific Fur Company, having just established Fort Okanagan at the confluence of the Okanagan River with the Columbia, heads up the former with Montigny and makes his way to the Thompson River to trade over the winter.
1812 David Thompson leaves the Pacific watershed to return no more. Kootenai House abandoned.
1812Mar. 22Stuart and Montigny return to Fort Okanagan and thence to Fort Astoria.
1812SpringAlexander Ross heads up Stuart and Montigny’s trail to trade on the Thompson at “Cumcloups.”
1812June 18United States declares war on Great Britain.
1812Aug. 30First Selkirk settlers reach Red River under Governor Miles Macdonell.
1813Alexander Ross, manager of the Pacific Fur Company’s Fort Okanagan, supposedly wanders up the Similkameen, the first Caucasian to do so.
1813North West Company established Jasper House.
1813Oct. 16The Pacific Fur Company employees sell Ft. Astoria to the North West Company.
1813Nov. 30Captain Black in H.M.S. Racoon seizes Fort Astoria, despite the events of the 16th.
1813Dec. 12Captain Black renames Fort Astoria as Fort George.
1814MayAlexander Henry, factor of North West Company’s Rocky Mountain House, drowns near Fort George (Astoria).
1814Dec. 24Treaty of Ghent concluded. Ends War of 1812. Provides for the return of territorial possessions seized during hostility and iterates Jay’s Treaty demarkation of the Boundary between the United States and British North America as far west as the northwest corner of Lake of the Woods.
1815The North West Company mauls Red River Colony: Macdonell surrenders.
1815Jan. 11John Alexander Macdonald born in Glasgow, Scotland.
1815Oct. 2Congregation of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) founded by Charles-Joseph-Eugene de Mazenod at Aix-en-Provence, France
1816June 19Massacre of Seven Oaks. Twenty-one settlers killed by a North West Company band led by Cuthbert Grant.
1816Aug. 12Lord Selkirk and mercenaries seize Fort William.
1817Richard Rush, Acting Secretary of State of the United States, and Charles Bagot, British minister in Washington, exchange signed notes agreeing to extend the Boundary between American British territories on North America from the northwest corner of the Lake of the Woods directly north or south to the 49th parallel and west to the Great Divide. “Oregon,” west of the Rockies and lying between 42º and 54º40'N, to be “joint occupancy.” Fort George/Astoria to be surrendered to American interests upon demand.
1817David Thompson completes his map of the West.
1817Sep. 6Alexander Tilloch Galt born in London, England.
1818J.J Astor and Son organized to take over operation of the American Fur Company.
1818Apr. 28U.S. senate ratifies the Rush-Bagot Convention of 1817, making it a lawful treaty of the United States.
1818Oct. 2Great Britain ratifies the Convention of 1817.
1818Oct. 6Fort George/Astoria nominally returned to American interests.
1818Oct. 16Former American possessions in the Pacific North-west restored to U.S. by provisions in the Treaty of Ghent.
1819Financial panic of 1819. Five year long recession begins in US.
1819Probably whooping cough ravages the Native populations of the Plains.
1819François Morigeau, ex-employee of David Thompson, settles at what is now Canal Flats, B.C.
1820Jan. 29George III of England dies.
1821Missouri Fur Company re-organized and western posts re-established.
1821Mar. 26The “Coalition,” the “Deed Poll,” of Hudson’s Bay Coy. & North West Company. Negotiated by Edwd. “Bear” Ellice of the Hudson’s Bay Company and Simon McGillivray of the North West Company.
1821July 2Westminster grants Hudson’s Bay Coy. a 21 year monopoly over fur trade in British North America.
1821Sep.4Ukase signed by Alexander I of All the Russias declares Russian zone of exclusivity on the west coast of North America from Lat. 51ºN to the Bering Sea.
1822Hudson’s Bay Company builds Lower Fort Garry near what is now Winnipeg, Manitoba.
1822HBC sends Donald McKenzie to re-establish Chesterfield House at the mouth of the Red Deer River in what is now Alberta. (First post built there by Peter Fidler in 1800)
1822HBC sends John Edward Harriott et al to explore the Bow River area in what is now Alberta.
1823Missouri Fur Company establishes a post at the mouth of Maria’s River in what is now Montana and draws Niitsitapi trade away from the HBC’s Ft. Edmonton.
1824Hudson’s Bay Company establishes Fort Colvile on the Columbia River near Kettle Falls. named for Andrew Wedderburn Colvile who, with his brothers-in-law John Halkirk and Thomas Douglas (5th Earl of Selkirk, of Red River note), had outbit the principals of the North West Company for the majority of shares i the HBC in the 18-aughts.
1824Hudson’s Bay Company sends Tom McKay to re-establish the old pathway up the Okanagan River from the Columbia and on to Fort Kamloops. This becomes the “Brigade Trail.”
1824Aug. 15A Sunday. Geo. Simpson departs York Factory on Hudson Bay for a year-long tour to the Columbia Department.
1824AutumnNear Fort Edmonton, Rupert’s Land: Ne:hiyawak slaughter a Niitsi-tapi band of 400.
1825Convention of 1825 between His Britannic Majesty and Russia establishes 54º40'N as the boundary between their respective spheres of influence. Scottish botanist David Douglas supposed by some to have visited Kootenay Lake. Officially denied.
1825Mar. 19Saturday. Governor George Simpson establishes Fort Vancouver as headquarters of the Columbia Department.
1826William Williams retires as governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Southern Department and George Simpson, governor of the Northern Territory, takes over.
1826Fort Garry washed away.
1826Near Fort Carlton, Rupert’s Land: Niitsi-tapi kill nine Ne:hiyawak.
1826A company of Hudson’s Bay Coy. voyageurs perhaps saw Kootenay Lake.
1827Jan. 7Sanford Fleming born in Kirkaldy, Scotland.
1827American Fur Co. sends Kenneth McKenzie ito Blackfoot territory to establish trade.
1827Aug. 8Conclusion of Conference of 1827: confirms the “joint occupancy” of Oregon territory.
1828George Simpson begins a year-long excursion to the New Caledonia/Oregon region of Hudson’s Bay Company’s territory.
1828Kenneth McKenzie established Fort Union up on the Missouri River.
1830George Simpson has Lower Fort Garry constructed twenty miles down the Red from the mouth of the Assiniboine.
1830Jan. 6James Baker born.
1830June 26George IV of England dies.
1831Kenneth McKenzie of the American Fur Co. makes a treaty with the Blackfoot on the Missouri.
1831Apr. 30Father Léon Fouquet, OMI, born in Agentré, Mayenne, France.
1832Hudson’s Bay Company establishes Old Bow Fort near what is now Morley, Alberta.
1832D.D. Mitchell of the American Fur Company establishes Ft. McKenzie at the head of keelboat navigation on the Missouri.
1832Lower Fort Garry (the Stone Fort) completed by Hudson’s Bay Coy.
1832July 9HBC’s Northern Council resolves to establish a post on the Bow River in Piikani country.
1832AutumnRupert’s Land: John Rowand establishes “Piegan Post” (“Old Bow Fort”) on the Bow near present-day Cochrane, Alberta.
1832Oct. 1Daniel Chase Corbin born.
1833 Archibald McDonald posted to Fort Colvile as factor (to 1844).
1833HBC agrees to permit American Fur Co. employees to trade with the Niitsi-tapi in southwest Rupert’s Land.
1833Nov. 12Western North America: The shooting stars of the Leonid Meteor Shower amaze witnesses.
1834Rocky Mountain Fur Company out of business. Hudson’s Bay Company abandons Old Bow Fort.
1834Lord Selkirk’s heirs return the Selkirk Settlement to HBC control.
1834London: John Galt organizes British American Land Company.
1834Apr. 19County of Kircudbright, Scotland: Gilbert Malcolm Sproat born.
1834June 1J.J. Astor and Son (William B. Astor) sell the Western Department of their American Fur Company to Pratt, Chouteau & Co. (Pierre Chouteau, Jr.)
1834June 30The U.S. Congress passes the “an act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes” (Indian Intercourse Act of 1832), prohibiting the delivery of liquor to Natives west of the Mississippi.
1834Nov. 30Full solar eclipse over what is now south-western Alberta.
1835Upper Fort Garry rebuilt on higher ground at Assiniboine River’s mouth.
1835Governor Geo. Simpson divides the HBC’s North american holdings into four judicial districts and appoints a magistrate for each.
1835MarchA.T. Galt returns to Canada. Sherbrooke.
1835May 2Beaver launched onto the River Thames near London.
1935Nov. 5Edgar Dewdney born in Bideford, Devonshire, England.
1836May 4Selkirk family sells its Red River lands to Hudson’s Bay Company for £84,000 in the Company’s stock.
1836July 21Champlain and St. Lawrence Railroad runs first train in Canada.
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