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Early Traders

History pages reprinted from the March 1949 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Early Traders
W. Henry McKay, Brooks, Alta.

‘The first white people to see the “Red Deer Forks”, which are about four miles east of Empress, Alta., were most likely the Frenchmen under De Niverville who built a small Fort at the forks of the Elbow and the Bow rivers in or about 1733 which they called “Fort La Jonquier” in honor of the Governor of New France as our country was called at that time. It was then still in the power of France.

It would have been too dangerous to have come so far with horses and carts on account of the many hostile Indians who roamed the plains. So they must have come up the rivers. When the North West Mounted Police built on the same site about one hundred and twenty-two years after (1875) Captain A. E. Brisbois says that there were still signs of an old Fort there.’

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