Stepping into the Past at Fort Carlton

Posted Felipe's 2021 Adventure

Thank goodness for my signature explorer hat because I blended in perfectly with the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society at the Fort Carlton excavation site! Led by Dr. Karin Steuber, her team at the archaeology site in Fort Carlton has uncovered some fascinating provincial history.

It's an evocative process to observe; when I was there, they uncovered the leather sole of a shoe which really ignited my imagination and I began wondering who would have worn that shoe and how did that person connect to this place we both call home, despite us being separated by more than 200 years of history.

During my visit with Dr. Steuber, I learned that Fort Carlton was an essential hub for the Hudson's Day Company (HBC) from 1810-1885. Located on the North Saskatchewan River and with easy access by land, this site was an ideal place to warehouse good and gather provisions for other posts. An important negotiation site for Treaty 6 in 1876, Fort Carlton, was accidentally burned down during a hasty evacuation during the Northwest Resistance of 1885.

Today, Fort Carlton Provincial Park features a reconstructed palisade fur and provisions store, trade store, clerks quarters and tipi encampment. Visitors can see, touch and smell artifacts such as bison hides, beaver pelts and more. Intrepretive staff are on hand to answer questions and lead activities.

The park features hiking trails, a picnic area and a small, rustic campground that I enjoyed! If you are a nut for phenomenal fall colours like me, Fort Carlton is the perfect autumn camping location. Click here for more information on where to camp this fall! From the number of antique emporiums in this province, I know there are tons of history buffs in Saskatchewan.

If you have the urge to get your hands dirty, you can join Dr. Karin Steuber for the 2022 excavation season. Email and tell her the "El Saskatchewanderer" sent you!