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

Langley daycare investigated after staffer allegedly threatens child

Fraser Health ordered the centre to come up with a plan to fix the issue

Driver flees Aldergrove hit-and-run, dumps smoking car

Driver of a grey van rear-ended another vehicle at the corner of 272 Street and Fraser Highway.

When gas prices go up, Aldergrove residents head South

Overal reduction in Canadian cross border traffic, but one reason has locals heading South

Conservatives, PPC prepare to nominate in Langley-Aldergrove

The two parties are about to select their candidates for the next federal election

MP seeks to honour Langley’s environmental heroes

Nominations are open for the Langley Environmental Heroes Awards until April 19

UPDATE: Four victims identified in deadly Penticton shooting spree

John Brittain, 68, faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Man identified in Vancouver’s fourth homicide of the year

30-year-old man was not known to police

RCMP locate missing Colony Farm psychiatric patient

Patient left last week on day pass from the hospital in Coquitlam

600 volunteers sign up to recall Maple Ridge MLAs over housing problems

Organizer urges province to reconsider position on Burnett modulars

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

B.C. trucker pleads guilty to lesser charges in fatal Manitoba crash

Gurjant Singh was fined $3,000 and given a one-year driving prohibition.

Australian author reacts to Chilliwack school trustee’s ‘book banning’ statements

John Marsden responds to ‘horror and outrage’ from adults about mildly sexual thoughts in his novel

Most Read