Chronology of Lower Post History

Chronology of Lower Post History

C
1800

Contact

  • following the establishment of Fort Simpson and Fort Liard probable earliest European contact (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.) 
1834

Hudson Bay Company

  • John Macleod of the Hudson Bay Company travels up the Liard from the Mackenzie River, following the Dease River into Dease Lake where he built a trading post with the view of controlling the western fur trade. (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
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1838
Robert Campbell

  • Robert Campbell occupied same post, abandoning, it in 1939 after post is destroyed by fire. (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.) . 
1876

Lower Post

  • In 1876, Sylvester sells out to Hudson Bay Company, then travelled 80 miles down the Dease River to establish his Lower Post’s store confluence with the Liard River.
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1887
G.M. Dawson

  • G.M. Dawson arrives in Lower Post reporting: Mr..Engell in charge of trading post 94 people living there: 23 men, 18 women, 53 children (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.) 
1896
W.Pike

  • W.Pike (Journey through the Subarctic Forest, Anco Pub. 1957)”Once we visited a large lake 20 miles westward of the post (Watson Lake) and laid in a supply of white fish, which we caught in nets under the ice in great quantities. Here we found a band of Liard Indians hunting and fishing. Sickness was prevalent in the camp and very few of the men were well enough to hunt moose, and they had come to the lake to be sure of making a living…lying in their blankets were the sick men, some never to get up again.
     
    “We’re always like this, the chief exclaimed, since the white men came to the country! In the old time my tribe was powerful, but now many of my people die every winter.” (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
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Early 1900’s
Taku Trading Post

  • Hudson Bay challenged by independent trader Oscar Anderson who established the Taku Trading Post in Lower Post. It was abandoned in 1944. (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.) 
1926

Father Allard

  • Father Allard established a mission at Lower Post. Around this time, RCMP build barracks. (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
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1937
Summer School

  • Mission school established by Father Drean in summer months for half day session: catechism, reading, writing, arithmetic in Lower Post. (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
1943

First Church

  • First church built in Lower Post (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
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1947
Liard Lodge

  • The following information listings about Liard Lodge were gathered from various travel information guides (precise date of construction unknown):
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  • July 13, 1947 listing of lodges: Liard Lodge, Lower Post “Mile 620, Lower Post, B.C. – Store, meals, gas, oil, 40 beds.” (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
     
    July 13, 1947 listing of lodges: “Mile 620, Lower Post, B.C. – Store, meals, gas, oil, 40 beds.” (Spokane Spokesman-Review) “Alaska and the Alaska Highway” (AAA, 1950): Liard Lodge. 25 rooms. 8 baths. Single $2 to $2.50, double $1. Meals 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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  • December 2, 1950: “Liard Lodge and post office, operated for the British Yukon Navigation Company bus line by Herb and Vi Johnson, is a neat white-and-red lodge with indoor plumbing. Showers, no less!” (The Vancouver Sun) (Lundberg, n.d.)
1948
Public School

  • Initial plans to build a public school in Lower Post (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
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1949
Teacherage

  • One room log building and teacherage finished for $12,000. Enrollment: 33 (17 boys and 16 girls) Grade one: 16, Two: 8, Three: 4, Four: 1, Five: 2, Six: 1, Seven: 1 (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
1950

Christy’s Lower Post Hotel

  • Christy’s Lower Post Hotel. The following excerpt about the Lower Post Hotel was published in 1950. In 1962, following the sale of the Lower Post Hotel by Christy’s, The Whitehorse Star noted “The Christys had lived at Mile 620 since 1947″ but it is unclear exactly when the Hotel was established.

Lower Post School

  • Originally planned for Teslin, the Lower Post School was built in 1950 and opened in the fall of 1951, with Father A. Fleury, OMI, as Principal, and the Sisters of St. Anne as teachers. In November there were 90 pupils registered and by January the number had grown to 102. A classroom block, gymnasium and chapel were added in 1958.
  • Lower Post closed about 1975. The authorized number of pupils at Lower Post in 1954 was 120 and the per capita grant was $480. In 1954 there were 138 students at the school. In 1956 the grant was $456. for 160 students. In 1958 the school had 170 pupils, and 103 in 1965. (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
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1951
School Enrollment

  • Lower Post school enrollment: 20 (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
1952

Federal Residential School

  • Federal Residential School constructed by government, staffed by Catholic Church (Sisters of St. Anne as teachers and Oblate Fathers as administrators) (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
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1953
School Enrollment

  • Public school enrollment: 36 (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
1958

School Expanded

  • Residential school expanded to include chapel, gym and classroom. 187 total students and 9 teachers. (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
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1961
First Nation Formed

  • Initially, Liard First Nation was formed in 1961 by the amalgamation of five Kaska bands. They were Frances Lake, Watson Lake, Nelson River, Liard River and Pelly Lakes. (The Kaskas Yesterday, n.d.)
1965

School Enrollment

  • Residential school enrollment: 103 students and 5 teachers. (Upper Liard children attend school built in Watson Lake in 1964) (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
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1975
Department of Indian Affairs

  • In June, the residential school closes with enrollment of 75 Department of Indian Affairs makes the announcement on Dec. 17, 1974. (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
1985

Referendum

  • In 1985, a referendum was conducted to determine if Liard First Nation (former Liard Indian Band) should split into three separate Bands, Liard, Liard River Indian Reserve # 3 in Lower Post, BC and Dease River Band Council in Good Hope Lake, BC. (The Kaskas Yesterday, n.d.)

Referendum Passed

  • The referendum passed and while Dease River Band Council separated, Liard River Indian Reserve # 3 in Lower Post, BC chose to remain to be part of the Liard First Nation in Watson Lake, Yukon with a separated administrative body. (The Kaskas Yesterday, n.d.)

Liard River Indian Reserve #3

  • Part of Liard First Nation lives on registered Indian Reserve # 3 in Lower Post, northeast BC, near the Yukon Territory border. The reserve is 217 ha and is known as Liard River Indian Reserve # 3, which is situated between the Alaska Highway and Liard River.
  • Although the settlement is part of Liard First Nation occupying Lower Post in BC, the two groups of Kaska Dena are divided by the border and by divisions, services of Yukon and Provincial governments. (The Kaskas Yesterday, n.d.)
Highway Re-routed

  • Although Lower Post was Mile 620 when the Alaska Highway was built, the highway was re-routed around the community in 1985. (Lundberg, n.d.)
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1986
Band Office

  • Section of classroom building retrofitted into new band office. (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
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Lower Post Hotel burned down

  • June 24, 1986: “Watson Lake RCMP are investigating a fire that levelled three buildings in Lower Post, B.C. recently and they suspct arson. RCMP Sgt. Al Wasylenka said one of the buildings – the Lower Post Hotel – had been abandoned for seven or eight years.
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  • Two adjacent houses which burned had also been empty at the time of the fire, he said. ‘They were all vacant and ramshackle.’ Police were called to the scene at about 5:50 a.m. June 11. By the time they and the Watson Lake fire department had arrived, the buildings had been pretty well burnt down, said Wasylenka. (Lundberg, n.d.)
1987

New School

  • New elementary school built by Stikine School District (Historical Info Relating to Lower Post, n.d.)
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