Rocky Mountain House, Alta, incorporated as a town in 1939, population 6933 (2011c), 6874 (2006c). The Town of Rocky Mountain House is located on the North Saskatchewan River 81 km west of Red Deer, near the site of the North West Co's fur trade post of that name. It was built in 1799 to develop trade with the KOOTENAY and was the base from which David THOMPSON crossed the Rockies in 1807. From 1821 the Hudson's Bay Co operated Rocky Mountain House intermittently, rebuilding it 3 times. The trading post was finally abandoned as unprofitable in 1875. Thirty years later, settlers began arriving mainly from central Canada, the US Midwest and the United Kingdom. Coal deposits at Nordegg, 87 km to the west, attracted 2 railways through Rocky Mountain House in 1912 and 1914. Oil, natural gas, lumber, mixed farming, tourism and big-game hunting support a growing population. The fur trade post is now a national historic site (see ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE.