Visit to Fort Whoop-Up in Lethbridge AB today. The original name was Fort Hamilton and given the nickname as it was a whiskey trading post. The post served as a center for illegal activities. It has been beautifully restored with many, many artifacts and relics. The original fort sat 6 miles to the west at the confluence of the Oldman and St Mary rivers. It is situated in the coulees of Indian Battle Park. It was originally built in 1869 and rebuilt on present location in 1986. Illegal traders from Fort Benton in Montana traded guns and whiskey to the Blackfoot in exchange for buffalo hides and furs.
The original fort was constructed of huts which burned down after 6 months and rebuilt as a sturdy log stockade with two bastions. The NWMP took over the fort in 1874 to drive out the bootleggers. It burned down in 1887 and the site washed away by a flood in 1915. The present site on Indian Battle Park was the site of the last aboringinal battle in North America (Blackfoot vs Cree in 1870).
|Guard on Duty|
|Cloth and Thread Shop|
Today, the fort still trades with the Blackfoot tribes of Southern Alberta supplying ceremonial goods, hides, sweetgrass etc.
The fort is home to goats,chickens and horses. Eggs are $2/doz.
|Time for Lunch|
|Peeking at You|
The Thunderchief gallery offers insight into the culture of the Blackfoot Culture. Many of the artifacts come from the descendents of Thunder Chief who took part in the last great Indian battle. Photography not permitted in the gallery.
Whiskey and repeating rifles proved to be a dangerous combination. Smallpox and whiskey decimated the population and the repeating rifles rained death on hundreds of First Nations.