This is by no means a complete history of the City but rather some highlights to get a person interested in further study. As always I am open to suggestions and corrections of the historical content.
city of Prince George.”
The Lheidli T’enneh (pronounced Klate-lee – Ten-eh) are a sub group of the Dakelh First Nations also known as the Carrier Indians. Chief Dominic Frederick has said “The history of our people is a big part of the history of the City of Prince George…Today, we can collectively work together, side-by-side, and build upon the economic prosperity that will see Lheidli T'enneh take its rightful place alongside our local government, the City of Prince George, and the entire region."
Fraser named the Fort after King George III of England and on May 22, 1808, he began his infamous and intrepid journey down the Fraser River from what would become the City of Prince George.
|PC: Exploration Place|
This instigated a flurry of real estate activity in the area and its first real population boom. Soon the Grand Trunk Pacific (GTP) had reached Tete Jaune Cache and from there as many as one hundred scows a day would set afloat on the Fraser River with supplies for Fort George. The modern city of Prince George would soon began to form.
|South Fort George|
The main goal, of course, for each town site was to have the terminus of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway built in within their community – this would determine predominance. A long and bitter battle between the 2 communities and the GTP Railway ensued but in the end the GTP built a new town site on the area surrounding the old Hudson’s Bay trading post (between the other two communities) and christened it “Prince George”. The area now known as “The Crescents” in Prince George was actually purposely designed by the founders of the new town as a blockade to Central Fort George. In the end, the name Prince George stood and the other two communities eventually joined – Central Fort George in 1953 and South Fort George in 1975.
|Prince George Duke of Kent|
However, since the new GTP town was named Prince George in 1915 there has been some dispute as to who the city is named for. Some say it was King George V (the father of King George VI and a character in the movie “The King’s Speech”). A new theory has come into being though that portrays Prince George, a grandson of George V and an uncle of Queen Elizabeth II, as the City’s namesake. This man went on to become the Duke of Kent and married the Greek princess, Marina. He later died while serving in the Royal Air Force. Today we have another young Prince George who has made the city just a little more popular in the world media – perhaps one day he will visit.
|Captain Owen Forrester Browne|
Another interesting facet of the BX’s story was her captain – Owen Forrester Browne. He was a man of Hawaiian descent (known then as Kanakas) and was well respected as the best captain on the Upper Fraser. Browne piloted the BX for the entirety of her career. He later married Margaret Seymour of South Fort George who happened to be the daughter of the famous Granny Seymour.
Then the first Pulp Mill was opened in 1966. In 1981 Prince George was , in fact, the second largest city in all of British Columbia edging out even Victoria. A popular symbol of Prince George today is “Mr. PG” – a large log shaped figure which first appeared in a parade float in 1960 and went on to become known throughout the province as emblematic of the city’s close relationship with the forests that surround it.
Sources & Further Reading:
Prince George: Rivers, Railways, and Timber by Bev Christensen (1989 Windsor Publications Ltd.)
A History of Prince George by Rev. F.E. Runnalls:
Exploration Place website: http://www.theexplorationplace.com/
Tourism Prince George website: http://www.tourismpg.com/our-story