Chetwynd was originally known as Little Prairie by the Indigenous people who travelled and lived in this area for hundreds of years. Fur traders came to Little Prairie as early as 1778 following the water routes and pack trails of the day. By 1919 a log cabin opened as a small trading post. This attracted others to build around it, and so the community of Little Prairie grew.
The Pacific Eastern Railway arrived officially in 1958. The railway station was built in 1959 and Chetwynd became a divisional point for the railroad. This divisional point was officially changed from Little Prairie to Chetwynd in honor of the Hon. Ralph Chetwynd, past Minister of Railways and staunch supporter of development in the Peace Region. Chetwynd has a Population of about 3000 with a trading area of 7000. Major industries include forestry, mining, natural gas, bio and wind energy, railway transport, tourism and agriculture.
Four distinct seasons combined with rolling hills, snow-capped mountains, and crystal clear lakes and rivers make Chetwynd a playground for the outdoor enthusiast. There is plenty of sport fishing in the region. Hiking and biking is popular. During the winter months there is speed skating at the Rotary Park, snowmobiling in the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains plus ice fishing and hunting. Cross country skiing or down hill skiing is available at Powder King.