This photo shows oil drilling equipment being ferried across the Peace River in northwest Alberta in 1955, when oil exploration was a major activity in the region.
I was transferred that year from the Alberta Forest Service in Coleman to Grande Prairie to work as a game officer with the game branch of the Alberta Department of Lands and Forests. I was the first game officer stationed in the south Peace country. Until then, wildlife enforcement had been left to forest officers and the RCMP.
The ferry at Dunvegan, ninety kilometres north of Grande Prairie, was at the time the only river crossing between the British Columbia border and the town of Peace River, Alberta. In 1960, when Alberta’s longest vehicle suspension bridge was completed, ferry service at Dunvegan was discontinued, and this ferry was relocated further downstream to La Crête, Alberta.
Fort Dunvegan was established as a North West Company trading post in 1805 and later became a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post. It was also a major Roman Catholic and Anglican mission site.
The present Dunvegan Provincial Park is home to the restored Hudson’s Bay Company Factor’s House, the St. Charles Church and Rectory, and the Revillon Freres trading post. It’s also a favourite local camping location.