Invermere, BC, incorporated as a district municipality in 1983, population 2955 (2011c), 3002 (2006c). The District of Invermere is located on the northwestern shore of Windermere Lake in the ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRENCH, 130 km north of Cranbrook and 120 km southeast of Golden. The KOOTENAY (Ktunaxa) people sustained themselves in this territory for 12 000 years by hunting, fishing and gathering in a cyclical pattern according to the seasons. David THOMPSON built the first trading post in the Columbia District near here in 1807. In 1862 the first placer-gold miners arrived, and mining continued with the Paradise and Mineral King mines. In 1890 Edmund T. Johnston claimed the site with plans for a settlement and named it Copper City. Growth at the townsite did not occur until after the Columbia Valley Irrigated Fruit Lands Ltd purchased (circa 1909) and promoted it to English and Scottish immigrants. The name was changed to Invermere, descriptive and of Scottish origin meaning inver "mouth" and mere "lake." Agriculture was established, along with beef production. Invermere became a centre for mountaineers in the PURCELL MOUNTAINS 1920-30, after Conrad KAIN, a prominent guide, made nearby Wilmer his home.
Invermere is the service centre and hub for the Columbia River valley. Forestry is the leading resource industry, but tourism also plays an important role, particularly at nearby Radium Hot Springs and Fairmont Hot Springs, and at Panorama Mountain Village, a year-round resort. North of Invermere is the Upper Columbia River Wetlands, an internationally recognized Ramsar site popular with birdwatchers. The Windermere Valley Museum traces the history of the valley.