Remembering a happier era

In the history of our area there is a happy story of co-operation when the Hudson Bay Company abandoned shipping their furs east by canoe

In the history of our area there is a happy story of co-operation worth noting. It happened when the Hudson Bay Company abandoned shipping their furs east by canoe.

They swung the whole operation over to the new outlet from what became Kamloops, south through our Okanagan Valley to the Columbia River and the Pacific.

They used pack horse trains with 300 horses in a train. Each packhorse was loaded with furs. They stopped to graze and rest at intervals. This was historical. We can call it first contact.

The First Nations people provided horses, and cowboys and the women provided food and home crafts in exchange for pots and pans they had never seen before. Harmony reigned. Sadly, the west eventually ran out of furs so it came to a sad end. The Hudson’s Bay had to cease operation.

The Penticton Library has books and literature covering this historic first contact era.

Fred Ritchie

 

Penticton