The coming of the railway created a land boom, which brought a great number of people to the Peace Country. In many ways, Peace River developed like other Alberta towns. In other ways it was much different. Although Prohibition (making, moving, selling, and drinking of alcohol) was lifted in the Northwest Territories in 1892, it remained in force in what would become northern Alberta, and this condition was only repealed in 1923. So, unlike towns in places outside northern Alberta, there were no bars or beer parlours in northern Alberta, including Peace River, until 1923. Hard to believe when you consider the number of those places we have in our cities now.
Peace River had a northern orientation that was unique. It was a major fur-buying center for northern Alberta and trappers came there from north central and northwestern Alberta to sell their catches. And there was a pattern in the 1920s; there were established fur trade posts there. But traders would come up from Edmonton as well on the train during the trading season.Peace River was a center of navigation, shipping, and shipbuilding -- an important part of the town's economy until 1952, when shipping goods by river was abandoned.