During the early 1900s, settlers moved to McBride to work on the railway, build farms, or make their fortunes in the forest industry. The descendants of many of these pioneering families continue to call McBride their home.
The settlement of McBride began in 1913 and 1914, with the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. It became the Divisional Point along the railway between Jasper and Prince George. McBride was the major stopping point for steam engines to replenish their fuel and water supplies. It was also a maintenance facility for the trains, and had ice-making equipment for the refrigerated boxcars.
With the railway came rapid development in the forest industry. Many small sawmills were built to supply wood for railway ties, building construction, and airplanes like the Mosquito bombers that flew in World War II. McBride was also an important centre for the provincial Forest Service in managing the forests in the region.
Key events in the area’s history are:
- Early agriculture and trapping
- Construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
- Development of the forest industry
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