Jasper is a town that has survived despite economic ups and downs since the late 1800s . While it currently boasts high property values and impressive household incomes, this was not always the case. Indeed, there was a period during which much of Jasper was uninhabited.
The city began as a fur trading post owned by the North West Company. Nearby Jasper Forest Park was named after one of the posts' most well-liked operators. For a while, the area was a popular destination for fur traders, but as the demand for furs dwindled, so too did the town's economy.
In an attempt to breath new life into the area, the government established Jasper Forest Park in the early 1900s, and their plan succeeded. There was an influx of outdoor enthusiasts that revitalized the area. Today, Jasper national park draws almost 3 million visitors every year, and for good reason: It boasts glaciers, hot springs, gorgeous views of the mountain range.
As more people continued to visit the park, the transportation industry recognized the area's potential and The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway laid track from Winnipeg and Jasper. The railroad reached the park in 1911. There was also a road constructed from Jasper to Alberta's capitol, Edmonton. The town, originally called Fitzhugh, grew quickly thanks to the railway station and the visitors it brought. In 1913, the town's changed its name to Jasper to accompany the park.