Fort Walsh became the headquarters of the North-West Mounted Police in 1878, with its beginnings as a fur trading post in 1873. The fort is named after Superintendent James Walsh . The fort was later moved to Maple Creek, Saskatchewan where the railroad was. The fort was used in 1948 to 1962 for the RCMP to breed horses for the musical ride and the force.
[2- Historic Site - Fort Walsh at Cypress Hills Provincial Park]
[3 - Fort Walsh bunk house]
[4 -Fort Walsh Officer's Quarters]
[5 -Fort Walsh bunk house]
In 1875, Inspector James Morrow Walsh with about 30 men were sent to the Cypress Hills region where they built Fort Walsh, not far from where the Cypress Hills Massacre occurred. The NWMP investigation revealed that American “wolfers” (poisoned wolves for their pelts) and horse thieves had instigated the massacre. Although the NWMP were unable to convict any of the participants, the First Nations appreciated the efforts resulting in a good relationship. This resulted in the eventual signing of Treaty 4 in 1877, and Treaty 6 in 1879 and 1882.
[6 - click to enlarge]
[7 - Fort Walsh old book]
[8 - Fort Walsh - Photo of Queen Victoria]
[9 -Sitting Bull]
The country near Fort Walsh was the location where Sitting Bull, Medicine Man, and 5,000 Lakota Sioux followers took refuge from the US Army after the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. Walsh was instrumental in ensuring Canadian law was enforced, and peace maintained between the Canadian and American First Nations. When Sitting Bull continued to refuse to leave Canada for the US, Walsh was accused of neglecting his duties to get the Sioux to leave. To separate Walsh from Sitting Bull, whom he had become close friends with, Walsh had been sent to Ontario and later forced to resign from the NWMP due to his “too friendly association” with Sitting Bull and the Sioux. A letter Colonel James Macleod wrote to his wife, Mary, on July 29, 1878 sums up his opinion of Walsh’s association with the Sioux. Sitting Bull and the majority of Sioux refugees returned to the US in 1881 when the federal government refused to provide supplies and food when the buffalo had declined in numbers, almost to extinction.
[10 -Cypress Hills wildflower]
[11 - Cypress Hills is known for star gazing - Aurora]
My Town Mondays were started by Travis Erwin in Amarillo, Texas who has handed the reins over to Clair Dickson. For other participants please visit the new location here.
TO BE CONTINUED
For previous posts on this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.
Forty Years In Canada by Col. Samuel B. Steele (1915) [pp. 160, 161]
Glenbow Museum Archives
ParksCanada – National Historic Site
Photo Credits: -Space Ritual CC=nd-flickr, -bribriTO CC=sa-flickr, -wikipedia, -kiwehowin CC=nd-sa-flickr, -Kevin Satt CC=sa-flickr.
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