History

Marl's Story

Marl, the first curator, continues his role today and is often the first one there in the morning and last to leave at night. The museum and everything in it is Marl's passion and life's work. His dedication ensures the museum will be enjoyed by future generations for many years to come. In 1957, when the Alaska Highway was just a trail, Marl Brown was working as a mechanic for the Canadian Army at the Mile 245 maintenance camp.

Seeing many items being thrown away, Marl started saving them. By the 1970's he had acquired so much stuff that a museum was needed.

Fort Nelson Historical Society was founded in 1977, and after a decade of fundraising the Museum opened its doors in 1987.

Fort Nelson History

Fort Nelson, named after Admiral Nelson, was established as a fur post in 1805 and is the gateway to the Northern Rocky Mountains and the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area. Life in Fort Nelson began to change drastically in 1941 and 1942 mainly as a result of World War II. The Northwest Air Staging Route established an airport in 1941. The population of Fort Nelson increased substantially in 1942 with the arrival of US Army troops to begin construction of the Alcan Highway, now called the Alaska Highway.  With so many people working on the highway, it only took 9 months to survey and build the 1500 mile stretch of road.

Since 1942 Fort Nelson's history is a history of modern experiences. The economy has expanded to include more than just fur trapping. It now includes guide outfitting, the forest industry, oil and gas industry, farming, transportation and tourism.