I’d always wanted to visit Fort Gibralter, which is very near our home and on Canada Day I finally did. Admission was free because it was a national holiday. While Dave was watching baseball at nearby Whittier Park I took a very interesting tour.
Fort Gibraltar was built to show visitors what life was like in the area around Winnipeg in the early 1800’s. It was the home base for the North West Trading Company which was in direct competition with the Hudsons Bay Trading Company. The original fort was built in 1809 but captured and destroyed by the Selkirk colony in 1816. Later the two companies amalgamated.
The fort served as a supply depot and trade center for the voyageurs. The voyageurs were French Canadian transportation experts. They were seasoned woodsmen and fearless canoeists, known for their music making and love of life. Their job was to move furs from one place to another.
This young woman was curing cast iron cooking pots for the voyageurs. I loved the way the shells on her dress jingled and jangled as she moved around.
This fort worker was making pemiccan, a paste of dried and pounded meat and maybe berries mixed with melted fat. It was good food for the voyageurs to take on their journeys and was stored in a dried out bison bladder.
Voyageurs used Fort Gibraltar as a place to trade, rest up and restock their supply caches.
You can rent the main lodge for events. On Canada Day when I visited it was all set up for a wedding.
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