A small fort was established near here in 1717 by a French officer, Zacharie Robutel de la Nouë.
First of a projected series of bases en route to the "Western Sea," it replaced a structure built in 1679 by Daniel Greysolon, Sieur Dulhut, on another branch of the Kaministiquia River delta. It served as a trading post and base of operations, 1727-43, for Pierre Gaultier de la Vérendrye, the famous explorer. Following the conquest of New France in 1760, this fort was abandoned.
A later Fort Kaministiquia, built a short distance downriver by the North West Company, was renamed Fort William in 1807. It became the nucleus of this city.