Houston, BC, incorporated as a district municipality in 1969, population 3147 (2011c), 3163 (2006c). The District of Houston is situated midway between PRINCE GEORGE and PRINCE RUPERT on the Yellowhead Highway and at the confluence of the Bulkley and Morice rivers. Originally called Pleasant Valley, it was renamed in 1910 after John Houston, a railway surveyor and the first newspaperman in Prince Rupert.
Settlers began arriving in the area at the turn of the 20th century to prospect, farm or supply the building of the telegraph line from ASHCROFT to DAWSON, YT. The GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY arrived in 1912. Incorporated as a village in 1957, Houston reincorporated as a district municipality in 1969 in order to include a planned mill within its boundaries (Bulkley Valley Forest Industries).
Houston grew rapidly from about 700 people in 1961 to more than 4000 by 1981. It has been able to attract other major industries including Houston Forest Products mill, a joint venture of Eurocan Pulp and Weldwood of Canada (1978); an open-pit silver mine, Equity Silver Mine (1981-94); and the Huckleberry copper mine (opened in 1997). The Bulkley Valley mill was expanded in 1985 (then owned by Northwood Pulp and Timber) and again in 2004 (now Canfor), making it the largest sawmill in the world. Some small wood manufacturing enterprises are also present.
Houston is famous for steelhead (see TROUT) fishing and has a tourist attraction, the world's largest fly-fishing rod.