History and Economy
In 1843, Robert Campbell named the river after Donald Ross, a chief factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Tom Smith established a trading post there in 1902–03 but soon sold it to Poole Field and Clement Lewis. Field and Lewis were traders from the Nahanni district of the Northwest Territories. As a number of Indigenous peoples had followed them and settled in the vicinity, the new owners called the site “Nahanni House.” Subsequent owners, including the Whitehorse firm of Taylor and Drury, reverted to the original name of Ross River. This predominantly Kaska settlement has a landing strip and is a service centre for travellers on the Campbell Highway. Ross River is also a jumping off point for hunting, fishing and mineral exploration in the area.