Edmontonians in the Spotlight – Louise Umphreville

1846 Fort, Edmontonians In The Spotlight

Join us today, O reader, as our spotlight series turns to focus on Edmonton’s one-time first lady, Métis matriarch Louise ‘Lisette’ Umphreville (ca. 1783-1849). There’s no surviving image of Louise, and you won’t find many things named after Umphreville in the city. Nowadays, marketing agents would rather find names like Tuscany Hills or the utterly baffling Sol’Town. But for over …

John Rowand: August 9th, 1846

1846 Fort, Letters From History

Welcome back to our Letters from the Past series, in which we enliven the epigrams of Edmontonians! This month we bring you a letter from John Rowand, The Chief Factor of Fort Edmonton and the Saskatchewan District from 1823 to 1854. This is the third of John Rowand’s letters to be featured in this series, including February and April. In this letter, Mr. …

The Lobstick Pine

1846 Fort

We’ve been hearing a lot of questions from our river valley neighbours — those energetic Edmontonians who walk, jog, or cycle the footpaths near Fort Edmonton Park. They’re all wondering what this is: In June, coinciding nicely with the Works Art & Design Festival and National Aboriginal Month, the City of Edmonton welcomed Métis artist Leah Dorion to the valley path just outside Fort Edmonton Park. Ms. …

John Rowand – April 19, 1847

1846 Fort, Letters From History

Did it snow today? If not, you’re doing better than our old friend John Rowand 165 years ago! Welcome to another Letter from the Past, the feature in which we deliver Edmonton’s historic mail, only far too late and to the wrong people (you!). Fort Edmonton’s Chief Factor was well known for his fierceness, having been called ‘bold as a lion’ among …

John Rowand – Feb 25, 1847

1846 Fort, Letters From History

We are very pleased to offer our second edition of Letters from the Past this February. Today you will be able to read a letter sent from Chief Factor John Rowand of Fort Edmonton to his employer, Sir George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company written over 160 years ago. Come down to Fort Edmonton Park this summer and …

Adventures in Snowshoeing

1846 Fort

All Edmontonians know that getting around in the dead of winter can be tricky business.  Vehicles don’t start, bicycles slide out from beneath you and the snow and cold just make you want to stay in bed for days on end.  In Edmonton’s past, however, there was one very effective way of getting around during the winter, even in the …

When Does the York Boat Set Sail?

1846 Fort, Ask Tom

Q: “When does the York Boat launch at Fort Edmonton Park”? A: Generally we launch the York Boat early to mid July, depending on how high and fast the river is. After the boat is launched, it is anchored twenty feet from the shore for the rest of the season. Staff will take it out for a row usually around 4 …

John Edward Harriott and John Rowand

1846 Fort

John Rowand was born in Montreal, but came West to Rupert’s Land as a young man in the 18th Century and made a name for himself with the North West, and later Hudson’s Bay Companies. He commanded the HBC trading post of Edmonton for nearly thirty years, married (in the custom of the country) and raised a Métis family and …

Looking for a Job at Fort Edmonton Park in 1846?

1846 Fort

In today’s blog post we’re going to have a look back at the social structure, jobs and wages of the Fort Edmontonians back in 1840’s. At this time, your social structure was largely determined by the hierarchy at the Hudson Bay Company. Since all men residing within the establishment were company employees, they were defined by their roles within the …

The Regrettable New Year’s Cannon Incident

1846 Fort

Even in 1827 caution should be taken when partying on New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s, as 1827 turned into 1828 in Edmonton, the blacksmith Mr. John Welch, imbibed a bit too much, as it turned out. He decided to fire off one of the Fort’s old signal cannons to celebrate the New Year. As they found him the next …

Fort Edmonton Park – York Boat Fast Facts

1846 Fort

Today we look at one of the most important means of transportation for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Not familiar with the York boat? Here are some fast facts… – The York boat played a vital role in the operations of the Hudson’s Bay Company – The name “York boat” wasn’t adopted until the late 1880’s. Previously the boats were called …