1500 Cranbrook St N #275
British Columbia Tourism Region : Kootenay Rockies
- Mount Fisher - After Jack Fisher, who discovered gold on Wild Horse Creek in 1863. The mining camp that sprang up here after this discovery was named Fisherville.
- Fort Steele - Originally named Galbraith's Ferry, after R.L.T. Galbraith, who ran a ferry across the Kootenay River here.
- In 1887, in consequence of an appeal from Colonel Baker, the local magistrate, who anticipated trouble with Chief Isadore's band of Indians, Major Steele (later Major-General Sir Samuel Steele) arrived here with a force of two inspectors and
- seventy-five NCOS and men of the North West Mounted Police. In his memoirs, Forty Years in Canada, Steele has left the following account of the building of the NWMP post here:
- I asked Galbraith for permission to build on a point of land which was in an angle formed by the confluence of Wild Horse Creek and the Kootenay. He very kindly gave me a lease of the ground for as long as we should require it for the modest sum of one$
- The site was an ideal one. It commanded the trails to Tobacco Plains, the Crow's Nest Pass, Moyea [Moyie], and the Columbia Lakes, and was the most central situation from which to communicate with the Indians and give protection to the whites.
- Major Steele soon established good relations with Chief Isadore, who surrendered an escaped prisoner whom he had been harbouring. With the end of the crisis, the BC government declined to pay for the continuance of the NWMP post here,
- and the force was withdrawn. Just before Steele and his men left, the name of the adjacent settlement was changed, courtesy of Galbraith, to Fort Steele.
- Visitors to the modern 'reconstruction' of Fort Steele may be interested to know that the NWMP 'fort' had no stockade.
- Steele was born in Medonte, Ontario, in 1849, the fourth son of Captain Elmes Steele, RN.
- At the age of sixteen, he joined the militia during the Fenian Raids, served against the Métis in the Red River Rebellion of 1870, and joined the NWMP as sergeant major in 1873. He served with the force in the Riel Rebellion and in the Yukon gold rush.
- After service in the Boer War, he became general officer commanding Military District 13 (Calgary). He died in 1919.
- Mather Creek - After Robert D. Mather. A merchant at Wild Horse during the gold excitement of the 1860s, he subsequently pre-empted land at the mouth of this creek.
- With permission from G.P.V and Helen B. Akrigg 1997 British Columbia Place Names. UBC Press.
Address of this page: http://bc.ruralroutes.com/FortSteele