If you haven’t read the first parts of my winter road trip you can click the links below!
We drove on Ice?! |Part 1
The Journey to Fort Smith Continues | Part 2
Exploring the Northwest Territories | Part 3
I bet most of you have been to a very small town in your life. Whether it be just passing through it or staying for a little visit.
I use to think that the town where my grandparents have a summer camp in was small with the population being ~3,200.
I have found a new smallest town I have ever visited, Fort Fitzgerald, NWT Canada. Before you scroll down, guess in your head what the population is.
9! 9 people live there! Did you guess correct?!
I literally googled it for this post, but I thought that maybe 20 people lived there. Although even in my head I was like noo that would be too low.
As we arrived it was getting late as you can tell. There were very few houses at all, let alone with outside lights on. There were a couple of houses that looked like no one could, or should for that matter, live there. Looking at the census I don’t think anyone did!
Fort Fitzgerald is only houses. There are no stores or any other shops; luckily the “big city” Fort Smith isn’t too far down the road (25 km North)! If someone who resides here is looking for employment or schooling, other then hunting and trapping, they must go to Fort Smith.
Now for some information about this little town!
Fort Fitzgerald is positioned on the Alberta/Northwest Territories border along Slave River. Its original name was Smiths Landing until 1915 – renamed in the honour of the late Inspector Francis Joseph Fitzgerald of the North West Mounted Police. Fort Fitzgerald was located at the beginning of four sets of impassible rapids – in the picture above the “DANGER” sign is warning about these rapids. In its prime, Fort Fitzgerald was a very active portage route for goods to be transported to the North.
Once the extension of the railway extended service to Hay River, NWT on Great Slave Lake, there was no more need for the portage through Fort Fitzgerald. This obviously deteriorated the community leaving it now almost barren.
While in Fort Smith, we ended up at their community museum. We actually ended up getting a private/personal tour with an explanation for all of the pieces on display. The lady went into detail about the major portage activities in Fort Fitzgerald and the history surrounding that time period. It was very fascinating to hear her story; she was extremely knowledgeable. Better then any history class I have ever taken!
I know that most of you, if not all, will never go far North to visit those remote communities, but if you do drop by the museum in Fort Smith. Most likely the very friendly lady there will tell you the same story too 🙂 There is a lost of history packed into those small communities, which you can’t learn about in school. You have to go out and experience it for yourself.
Upon completion of touring around big ol Fort Fitzgerald, we came back to Fort Smith. We saw these tipis in the day time, so I wanted to come back at night and see them all lit up! Love me some lights!
Overall, I loved this trip. The history we learned from the locals was fascinating and eye opening.
I still have a couple posts with more pictures from the drive back – one in particular I am so excited to share with you guys! So stay tuned!
Until next time,