Piper Colin Barrett of Langley (in character as “Colin Fraser”) leads a group of historical re-enactors to greet arriving fur trade canoes in Fort Langley. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: Brigade Days comes to a close in Fort Langley

Three-day event ends with re-creating the arrival of the fur brigades

Brigade Days wrapped up in Fort Langley on Monday afternoon with the annual march of historical re-enactors from the Fort Langley National Historic Site to the river to re-create the arrival of the fur brigades.

The brigades arrival was an yearly event dating from 1848, when Langley became the main depot for the Hudson’s Bay Company on the west coast.

Every summer, the brigades traveled down the rivers to Fort Langley in canoes filled with furs and other goods that had been traded from First Nations people at interior forts.

They would unpack the goods for shipment to England, then repack their canoes with supplies to take back to the interior.

For BC Day, a bagpipe procession met the historical re-enactors portraying the brigadiers at the water, then marched to the James Douglas statue at the Fort.

The re-enactors role-played Hudson’s Bay Company workers, aboriginal traders and trappers, playing music and demonstrate traditional skills such as spinning wool and musketry.

History enthusiasts from B.C. and Washington showcased 1800s fur trade culture through demonstrations of sewing, laundry, weapons, blacksmithing, cooking, laundry and music.

This year, for the first time, visitors could collect trading cards from each re-enactor, similar to baseball cards, as a souvenir.

The event was shown live on the Times Facebook page.

The fur trade canoes were paddled by members of the Fort Langley Canoe club.

With them was the “Brenda A” (named after Brenda Alberts, the art gallery owner and community volunteer who passed away in 2016), a Langley-built replica of the York boats used to transport cargo, a 32-foot boat, builtby the the Bedford Rowing Society (BRS)

READ MORE: The “Brenda A” takes a long trip

York boats were preferred as cargo carriers to the birchbark canoes by some in the fur trade because they carried more cargo and could take more punishment.

While canoes were vulnerable to tears and punctures, the York boat’s heavy wood construction “could simply bounce off or grind past obstacles that could easily inflict fatal damage on a soft-hulled vessel” a Wikipedia entry notes.

READ MORE: Stepping back in time at Fort Langley’s Brigade Days celebration

READ MORE: A walk through history, in costume

The federal government designated Fort Langley as a National Historic Site in 1923.

At the time, there was only one building, a storehouse that is the oldest building in Fort Langley and possibly the oldest B.C.

The storehouse was rebuilt in the 1840’s after fire destroyed a similar building.

From 1931 to 1956, the Native Sons and Daughters of British Columbia operated a museum from the storehouse.

Parks Canada took control of the site in 1955, and a joint Federal-Provincial program reconstructed three buildings in time for the B.C. centennial in 1958.

In 1978, the site became a national historic park that now covers 8.5 hectares (21 acres).



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The replica York boat. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Just Posted

LETTER: MP refutes one man’s ‘skewed’ views on immigration

‘Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but no one is entitled to their own facts’: John Aldag

VIDEO: Giants winning streak halts against Everett Friday at home in Langley

Following their first loss since November, G-Men hope to regroup and defeat Victoria on Saturday.

Two local squads meet up at senior girls tourney in Langley

The 2018 Girls Tsumura Invitational continues Saturday with the finals.

Kazakhstan’s U20 team takes 4-3 win over Langley university squad

Thursday night’s game is one of three the visitors are playing at the Langley Events Centre.

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

37% of Metro Vancouver sees real estate industry as ‘extremely corrupt’

Report comes as the B.C. government continues to probe alleged links of money laundering in casinos to real estate

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Most Read