Nonetheless, eventually the post became profitable, and continued to function until its closure in 1952.
The community is located on the south-eastern shore of Stuart Lake, at the head of the Stuart River.
The laying down of the Alaska Highway, in a record nine months in 1942, brought about great changes in the northern communities of BC.
Nearly 2,400 km of gravel roadway was constructed from Dawson Creek to Alaska, providing quicker access for the US military to their northern state during the Second World War. John is now the largest city on the Alaska Highway, and in Northeastern BC, and is the transportation and service hub for the area. John is a busy, modern town that popped up with the expansion of the oil and gas industries in this unique prairie region, the only one in British Columbia.
The local economy is well diversified, although resource-oriented.
The forest industries constitute the leading sector followed by mining, agriculture and tourism.
The fur trade was slow to take route in the area, since the economy of the Dakelh people had been based on the fishery, rather than on trapping.
In addition, there were customary and ceremonial restrictions which placed obstacles in the way of an efficient fur economy.
Founded by the North West Company explorer and fur trader Simon Fraser in 1806, it came under the management of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821 with the forced merger of the two battling fur companies.
Also known historically as Stuart Lake Post, it is one of British Columbia's oldest permanent European settlements and was the administrative centre for the Hudson's Bay Company's New Caledonia fur district.
The company’s dominance of the region’s fur trade ended with its amalgamation with the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1821.