Dawson Creek is Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway and with a population of about 11,000 people and a trading area of 60,000, it is the service centre for the Peace River District. The community was one of many farming communities established by European-Canadian settlers moving into the Peace River Country. The Canadian government began issuing homestead grants to settlers in 1912 and the pace of migration increased. With the opening of a few stores and hotels in 1919 and the incorporation of the Dawson Creek Cooperative Union on May 28, 1921, it became the dominant business centre in the area.
The Northern Alberta Railway built its western terminus in Dawson Creek and the golden spike was driven on December 29, 1930. The first passenger train arrived on January 15, 1931. The arrival of the railway and the construction of grain elevators attracted more settlers and the need to provide services led Dawson Creek to incorporate as a village in May 1936.