The girls and I visited Fort Edmonton yesterday. They have been there more often than I have so I let them guide me around. We had a great time.
We arrived just in time to catch the steam train to the 1846 Fort. We wandered through buildings, looking into furnished rooms and imaging what life was like for the people who lived there.
It wasn’t very busy, so we spent a lot of time exploring.
As we left the Fort we visited with some interpreters in the Cree Encampment and compared the tipis with the simple housing in the fort.
We strolled down 1885 Street, exploring the buildings and talking to interpreters.
It was fun to compare the many different chairs and tables we saw. They were as different as the people who made them, but all performed the same function. Throughout the settlement, there were many simple but elegant items which made me think of the maker movement in Edmonton and groups like #makeityeg and the Mercer Collective.
It was interesting watch kitchens evolve as we travelled to the future from the Fur Trading era to the Settlement era to the Municipal era and the Metropolitan era. I would love to expirement with the clay bake oven at the Fort, the wood oven in the Lauder’s Bake House, or one of the many beautiful wood stoves.
Signs outside most buildings provide a history of the buildings, businesses and people which helped us to imagine life as people started to move to Fort Edmonton and open businesses. We talked with several interpreters who told us about the experiences of people who lived in early Edmonton.
Two ladies who were visiting 1885 Street from the Fort shared their shortbread with us; and we chatted with Hazel Elizabeth Rutherford about her life as the daughter of the first Premier of Alberta as she took a break from playing badminton outside her house on 1905 Street.
At the tent camp on 1905 Street we learned that in the boom of the Municipal era people sometimes lived in tents while they waited for houses. The wait varied from six months to two years. I can’t imagine living in a tent in Edmonton for a whole winter, let alone two!
We were starting to run out of steam so we took the street car to 1920s street to get to the Capital Theatre. We love the 4D Short Film Northern Light and watch it every time we visit the Fort.
We finished the day at Johnny Jones 1920s Midway. Both girls rode the beautiful carousel and Paris rode the Ferris Wheel.
It was a great day!