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Woodlands County History

Areas within Woodlands County have played important roles regarding the early development of Alberta and Western Canada.

The hamlet of Fort Assiniboine was once used as transportation and supply point during the Hudson’s Bay era between 1823 and 1877. 

To commemorate the early history of the region, a Hudson’s Bay-style museum was constructed on Oct. 4, 1980 that reflects the fur trade and also houses historical artifacts. 

These buildings are now referred to as the Fort Assiniboine Museum and Friendship Club Drop-in Centre. 

Today, the museum is a very popular tourist attraction.

Another important piece of history that passes through Woodlands County is part of the famous Klondike Trail. 

The gold rush seekers camped at Klondike City (about 16 kilometres north of Fort Assiniboine) in the winter of 1898 and 1899. During the Klondike Gold Rush, the Northwest Territories government dispatched T.W. Chalmers to cut a trail from Klondike City to Lessor Slave Lake. This trail was used during the 1897 and 1898 Klondike Gold Rush and was promoted by the Edmonton Bulletin, Edmonton merchants, and the Government of Canada, as an “all-Canadian route to the easy gold of the Yukon.”

Today, the Chalmers portion of the Klondike Trail is being mapped and preserved by The Klondike Trail Society. The Klondike Trail Society is a group of Fort Assiniboine residents who are interested in locating, mapping, and marking the first 250 miles of the trail from Edmonton, AB to Dawson City, YK.

Woodlands County is a diverse and growing community now. Many forestry and petroleum companies have important partnerships within the community and contribute to the local economy.