Located within the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, the Baldy Hughes site has been referred to as such locally since at least 1913 and comes from a rather colorful character, and early British Columbia pioneer, by the name of Hughes. Hughes, who was often referred to by the name “Baldy”, ran a remount station for the stage line that traveled the old Cariboo Wagon Road (circa 1862). This remount station was situated on the current property. A nearby mountain, also bears his name.
Construction of Baldy Hughes Air Force Station began on the site in 1952 and the base officially opened in 1955. Operated by the United States Air Force, the site was part of the “Pinetree Line” series of radar stations located across the northern United States and southern Canada at about the 50th parallel north. Run by NORAD (after its creation), over half were manned by United States Air Force personnel with the balance operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). The line was the first coordinated system for early detection of a Soviet bomber attack on North America, but the early 1950s radar technology quickly became outdated and the line was in full operation only for a short time. The “Pinetree Line” was replaced by the “Mid-Canada Line” at the 55th parallel north, which was in turn replaced by the northernmost and most capable “DEW Line” at the 69th parallel.
Control of the station was transferred to the RCAF in the early 1960s. The base was re-named RCAF Station Baldy Hughes, then CFS Baldy Hughes. The station was officially closed in 1988.