Thursday, March 13, 2008

And this is my other fort Garry

Okay, it's like this: the confluence of the Assiniboine and the Red Rivers in southern Manitoba has always been a central place in that part of the world. The Red River settlements focussed on it from 1812. On the east side of the Red there was (and is) St-Boniface. On the west side, and north of the Assiniboine, there was Fort Garry, home base of the HBC company. Except when the fort and most all else flooded out in 1826, the HBC moved Fort Garry to the south, farther up the Red River.

That fort, which largely survives, is a national historic site, place you can visit, etc. That's Lower Fort Garry.

Y'see, the HBC still needed a place at that Red-Assiniboine junction, and so it built Fort Garry II: Upper Fort Garry.

Now I thought there used to be Upper Fort Garry and then Winnipeg arose on top of it and the fort vanished. Indeed most of it was demolished around 1883. But a gate survives and the site is there. Now somebody wants to build an apartment block on it. And the Friends of Upper Fort Garry are rallying to save what they can. There's serious fundraising required. It's controversial in Winnipeg. Friends of Upper Fort Garry have a nice website here.
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