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

Dr. Keith Lamont, founder of Langley Community Music School, passed away at age 89

Dr. Keith Lamont’s funeral service is on Jan. 20 at the Langley Community Music School

Great Gatsby themed gala to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters Langley

The Big Deal Charity Gala is a night of entertainment, food, and prizes on Feb. 23.

VIDEO: Dragon’s Den star headlines Unapologetically Her show in Langley

TV celebrity, author, and renowned entrepreneur Arlene Dickinson speaks truths about powerful women.

Aldergrove Kodiaks drown Whalers 6-3

Aldergrove Junior hockey team secure in PJHL playoffs spot next month

Court tosses Port Moody’s ticket for anti-SOGI rally

A group founded by a Langley woman was fined for a rally in Port Moody in 2018.

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Good news: Peak flu season over in B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says that while peak season is over, rates remain high this time of year

Book a ride on a driverless shuttle in Surrey or Vancouver

Automated vehicle demos are being offered, as the two cities plan pilot projects with the shuttles

High court ruling allows long-term expats to vote in byelections across Canada

Supreme Court decision enfranchised an estimated one million or more Canadian expats to be able to vote

Vancouver Whitecaps acquire Canadian international Derek Cornelius

Cornelius earned his first senior cap for Canada in September 2018

B.C. university students dumpster dive to shed light on food waste

Eating only from dumpsters, the students hope to raise money for food banks in Northern Canada

B.C. woman posts to Facebook after she and nephew reported missing for days

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Most Read