Fort George Buckingham House
Fort George & Buckingham House Provincial Historic Site is the location of two competing fur trade posts from the 1790’s. Located just outside Elk Point Alberta this historic site offers visitors a glimpse into our early fur trade past. The Interpretive centre offers allows visitors to: glimpse into the dreams of Louis, the voyageur; Listen as William Tomison, the Chief Factor of Buckingham House as he reflects and writes in his journal; and meet the "Country Wife" Nestichio and learn about the important role she played in linking the two cultures.
Open for operation from May 15th to Labour day (10am to 5pm daily).
Admission Fees Are Subject to Change Without Notice.
For more information please see www.fortgeorgebuckinghamhouse.org
Ambassadors Program: (more info)
For the rest of the summer show your card and you will…
• Get free admission for yourself every time you return to the site and bring with you at least one visiting friend or relative who lives outside the area.
The History of Fort George Buckingham House
Competition between the Hudson’s Bay and North West Companies also led to the expansion of posts on the North Saskatchewan River. By the early 1790s the westward march of posts had reached the boundaries of what is now Alberta. In 1792 the North West Company built a new post called Fort George on the north bank of the river a few kilometres east of the present-day town of Elk Point, Alberta. The Hudson’s Bay Company followed suit by building a second post about 250 meters upstream. This post was named Buckingham House. There is also some archaeological evidence to suggest that independent traders, not associated with either the North West or Hudson’s Bay Companies, may also have used the site. The two posts and the people stationed at them operated as both opponents and neighbours from 1792 to 1800. In 1800 the posts were abandoned as the companies built new posts further upstream. In recognition of the importance of these posts, both are operated as a provincial historic site.
The men working at Buckingham House were mostly Orkney men, from the Orkney Islands located just north of the Scottish mainland, and a few Englishmen. Fort George was manned almost entirely by French Canadians and a few Highland Scots. Many were married to Cree and Métis women, who played a vital role in operations of these and other posts. The First Nations who traded at Fort George and Buckingham House were even more varied. They included members of the Blackfoot, Pagan, and Blood, T’suu Tina (Sarcee), Gros Ventre, Cree, Assiniboine, and Ojibwa First Nations. Métis and Iroquois hunters also traded at these posts. The company traders offered guns, blankets, beads, tobacco, liquor, knives, and many other goods from Europe in exchange for a variety of furs, hides, meat, fat, and horses. Both posts were particularly important to their companies as sources of dried meat and pemmican.