Today, we got a little later start and spent a leisurely time at Fort Steele – home of the North West Mounted Police in the late 1880’s, and just chock full of history.
From a plaque in the gallery:
In 1886 a Kootenay Indian name Kapula and a partner were jailed at Wild Horse on suspicion of murdering two white miners almost two years before. Believing them innocent, Chief Isadore forcibly released the men from jail, ordering the local authorities to leave the district and not to return. Chief Isadore was also hostile to settlers of lands in the area, which had long been used by the Indians. Prospectors and settlers were disturbed that the Indians were taking the law into their own hands, so requested governmental assistance to stave off potential trouble.
Superintendent ‘Sam’ Steele with 75 non-commisioned officers and men of ‘D’ division arrived at Galbraith’s Ferry to establish on August 1, 1887, the first NorthWest Mounted Police post west of the Rockies. Upon careful investigation, Steele could find no evidence to hold Kapula and partner, so dismissed the charges. Moreover, with tact and fairness, he was able to satisfy the Indians concerning their land problems. Friendly relations were restored, enabling the force to return to Fort Macleod in August 1888.
I hope you enjoy these pics of our stroll through this wonderful national historic site.
In contrast with constables’ quarters:
The Clydesdale’s were friendly:
Blacksmith at work:
Bolts of fabric – surely a quilter’s dream:
One of three churches:
More pics in my next post.