Trading in furs at this junction of historic canoe routes probably began during the French regime. At intervals during the 1820's and 1830's Chief Trader John Siveright, commanding the Hudson's Bay Company's post at Fort Coulonge, sent men to trade at Mattawa. In 1837, primarily to counteract trading by lumbermen, the company established a permanent post there. Its original site was chosen by the company's governor, George Simpson, but before 1843 it was moved to this point. In later years, faced with diminishing fur trade, the post supplied its former rivals the lumbermen and turned to general trade in the community which grew around it. Mattawa House was closed in 1908.