Fort Shepherd - Waneta, British Columbia
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 00.911 W 117° 36.280
11U E 455786 N 5429319
Fort Shepherd, built on the west bank of the Columbia River in 1858 just north of the Canada-US border, was a short lived Hudson's Bay Trading Post.
Waymark Code: WMG5F9
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 01/15/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member wildwoodke
Views: 1

The trading post stood for only 14 years and was in use for only 8 of those years. Opened in 1859, it closed in 1860. Reopened in 1864, it closed for a final time in 1870. In 1872, the entire post was destroyed by fire. In 1909 there was still a chimney from one of the buildings standing, but that, too, is now gone. All that remains on the site is a large stone cairn erected by the Kinsmen in 1951 to mark the site.

When a line was drawn on the 49th parallel, following the Treaty of 1846, it separated the US and Canada. By that time the Hudson's Bay Company had already been operating in the northwest for 176 years, with no specific borders to be concerned with. But now, with a clear demarcation line between the two countries, the US was able to impose import duties on goods brought into the US by the Hudson's Bay Company. The company's only post in the area was at Fort Colville, 40 miles south of the border.

The duties imposed became too onerous for the company, so it decided to build a replacement north of the border. This it did, but only just north of the border. The site was just north of, and across the river from, what was to become the site of Waneta 35 years later with the building of the Nelson and Fort Sheppard Railway.

The company's major source of revenue was through trade with the Sinixt Indian people but trade with the natives in the area was never strong, and became even worse with the move of the post from Fort Colville to Fort Shepherd. As a result the company closed the post in 1860.

With a new gold rush gaining steam at Wild Horse Creek, north and east, near present day Fort Steele, men were pouring into the area from the south and the company figured to capitalize on this stampede, reopening the post in 1864.

As the rush slowly waned, so did the traffic in the area and the company closed the post for the final time in 1870.
Type of Marker: Cultural

Type of Sign: Historic Site or Building Marker

Describe the parking that is available nearby: Park at pullout at heritage marker across river from site.

What Agency placed the marker?: City of Trail Historical Society

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