This page is a text version of the History of Portage la Praire and Surrounding District. You can get a PDF copy of the book on our full version page. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the full version. The full version also includes each image in the original book.

Page Index of A History of Portage la Praire

Previous - Page 44 or Next - Page 46

were only interested in stealing provisions, and after gathering up as much as they could carry they were kind enough to unbind him.

(One of J. D. Mckay's sons was an interpreter for the Mounted Police for a number of years. Another son, W. C. McKay, was a successful Conservative candidate in a Cumberland election in 1912 or 1913.)

The Hudson's Bay Fort was to collect leather and buffalo robes in as large quantities as possible. It was also used as a warehouse for trading goods brought in on the Assiniboine River.

In 1856 the Hudson's Bay Company erected a trading post on the Saskatchewan Trail at what is now known as 18th Street, N.W. From 1857 to 1870 an interpreter (unidentified) was in charge of The Fort and Trading Post." (In 1861 a man named James Sinclair took over the duties).

"In 1871 the Hudson's Bay Company had at this date removed all its interests in the "Old Fort" and concentrated them on what was known as the "West End". Its stores and warehouses, with the addition of the houses of the employees and a few others built around them, made quite a little settlement.

The "Old Fore' on the Assiniboine River (after 1871) was used as an over-night resting place and often a stopping-off place by new settlers and their families. The families stayed at the Fort while the settler went out to strike his homestead land. One prominent pioneer Portage family, namely the Trimbles, remained for three years while the men established quarters on the land.

The "Old Fort" property remained in possession of the Hudson's Bay Company until the early 1880's, when it was sold as farm land to one Jonathan Lee. A grandson, Harold Lee, formerly of the Burn­ side district, but now residing in Glendale, California, U.S.A., has memories of the time when as a lad he and some of his chums picked bullets out of the beams of the storehouse with their jack­ knives." Benjamin Lee (Father of Harold Lee and son of Jonathan) moved the storehouse to his farm. The Fort and the Storehouse have both been demolished but no definite date can be ascertained in this connection." (It is shown in an 1890 Graphic picture - and Harold mentions 1898 as a possible date.)

According to The Weekly Review (July 18, 1895), the Hudson's Bay Company were building a new two-storey brick general store in the centre of the present City of Portage la Prairie at that time. (This was the store described by the Free Press as "one of the