Our exhibits take you on a journey through the history of the Lac La Biche region, including the geography, industries, and cultures that made us who we are today.
While the boreal forest is made up of many different tree species, like pine, spruce, birch, and poplar, the boreal region also includes thousands of lakes, rivers, wetlands, and naturally treeless areas. It covers almost 60% of Canada and contains 14% of the Canadian population. The natural resources in our region, from thick-furred animals to fish to trees, shaped the growth of our communities.
Portage La Biche
This exhibit chronicles the journey of David Thompson, who on October 4, 1798, became the first European to record a trip to Lac la Biche. Portage La Biche connected the Athabasca River and the Beaver River, making it a popular route for voyageurs to transport furs.
The population of the Lac La Biche region grew significantly after David Thompson and Peter Fidler established fur trading posts for, respectively, the North West Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company. This exhibit tells the story of the fur trade, including details regarding the role of women and the transition to fur farming.
Town of Lac La Biche
With the arrival of the railroad, Lac La Biche became a village in 1919 and a town in 1950. In this exhibit, you can familiarize yourself with the major players and events that incited change in the history of Lac La Biche, as well as play spot the difference on our town photos.
Lac La Biche Inn and the Alberta & Great Waterways Railway
After building the railway to Lac La Biche, John Duncan McArthur sought to take further advantage of it by building the Lac La Biche Inn. He intended to provide a scenic getaway for the people of Edmonton. McArthur’s plan wasn’t as lucrative as he hoped, but the building went to good use when the Filles de Jésus converted it into St. Catherine Hospital, the first in Lac La Biche.
The Empress of France and the Sea Cadets
Father McGrane established our first newspaper, first radio station, and, of course, the Sea Cadets. The Empress of France is a 1:48 scale builder’s model of a decommissioned navy ship used by Father McGrane to teach lessons to the Sea Cadets.
Born at Goose Lake, just south of the Beaver Lake reserve, local legend Herb Erickson turned 100 years old in November 2015. Herb began learning archery at age 9 and took his bow and arrow with him to the front lines during World War II. He has also shown off his talents at countless provincial and national competitions and mentored young archers in the area. The Lakeland Archery Club’s outdoor practice range is named in his honour.