Search This Blog

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Visit To The Fort St. James National Historic Site Of Canada.

I'm about to enter the visitor centre,a pleasant,but cloudy mild day,and a parking lot with only a few vehicles,so no crowds to endure.As I enter I'm greeted by 3 young ladies at the entry desk who engage in pleasantries as I pay my $6.55 entry(seniors) fee.
One of them,a very pretty first nations girl,was intrigued with my "Free Willy" tee shirt.The one in my signature,which is native art.She was really taken with it and asked where I got it.I told her My wife bought one for me and one for herself over 10 years ago in Chilliwack B.C.
After the pleasantries,one of the girls lead me into a film room to watch a short 9 minute movie called "Letters to Home",where a settler is writing home telling about life at the fort,which was nicely done, as he fades in and out of the scene while present day tourists enter and leave the room.It gave a nice oversight of what it was like back then......An interesting thing, when I was leaving,a German family came in and they watched the same film in the German language.....Nice touch Canada...Now out into the fort(below).A bit of an overview of some of the totally restored buildings.

I'm not going to get into the History of this place other than it was a Northwest Company fur trading post and the capital of New Caledonia,established by Simon Fraser and John Stuart.It contains one of the largest groups of original wooden buildings from Canada"s fur trade.Below is one of the staff in period costume carving out a canoe.

This is the inside of the "Fur Warehouse"an example of Red River framing.I chose to show the photo of the young lady at one end of this massive building,instead of the scene behind me which were 100's of fur pelts hanging from the rafters.I didn't want to offend some,even though some pelts are shown in some of the other shots.

This is my next stop,"Fish Cashe."

And inside are many dried salmon which was the main food source of the time.

Below is the totally restored original "Hudson's Bay Co. Post.

And again from another angle.

Below is a photo of the Murray House,a main residence of whoever was in charge at the time.It is very large with many rooms.

Inside the kitchen I visited with another of the period costumed girls.They are all sooo pleasant to talk to and will go on forever if you let them.They sure picked pleasant outgoing people for this job.
She had just finished baking the buns that she is standing beside,and baked them in the old stove in the foreground.She was telling me how she had so much trouble getting them to turn out properly and that finally by spending a day cleaning the oven,she had success.

Now to the final stop....The demonstration Area...where this native fella showed us in the various steps how to make a piece of soft leather out of moose hide.(they get donation hides from hunters in the area.You can see above him the various stages of the process lay ed out....quite interesting.....he says when he's not working in here,he's out carving the canoe..earlier pic.

So ends my visit to the old fort.....well worth the entry fee and well presented.....a must for any visitor to this area................And a bit of a humorous ending, as I was leaving this guy in pic above came waltzing out to the parking lot in a pair of shorts and sneakers and climbed into an SUV to go have lunch....almost didn't recognize him.

No comments:

Post a Comment