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Heritage Trails - Presented by CKUA  Fur Trade Posts at Rocky Mountain House, Part 1: Dirty Tricks Between Northwest Company and Hudson's  Bay Company
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Fur Trade Posts at Rocky Mountain House, Part 4: Native Use and Closing of the Posts
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Rocky Mountain HouseRocky Mountain House never had a permanent mission and, in fact, for many years the fur trade post established there itself only operated sporadically. Nevertheless, in the late 1820s the post was among the most profitable of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). 

The first trading post at Rocky Mountain House-or "The Mountain House" as it often was called-was opened in 1799 by the North West Company. After the merger in 1821 of the HBC and the North West Company, the post was abandoned in favour of the nearby HBC station. As with all fur trade posts, success depended on the relationship with the neighbouring Aboriginal people. In Rocky Mountain House this at times proved unpredictable and destructive-the Blackfoot set fire to the vacant post in the summer of 1861. A new station was completed in 1864, and was not left unattended until its final closure in 1875.

Rocky Mountain House PeiganMethodist as well as Catholic missionaries travelled regularly to Rocky Mountain House to visit the Blackfoot, Sarcee, Stoney and Cree.  John Edward Harriott, chief trader at Rocky Mountain House from 1843 until 1853 was a supportive friend of many of the missionaries including Robert Rundle, whom he helped with Cree translations of bible passages. 

Methodist missionaries Thomas Woolsey and John McDougall also spent time at the post, as did Oblate Father Albert Lacombe. None of them, however, took up permanent residence, and of the more than 20 churches located in present-day Rocky Mountain House today not one Rocky Mountain House Chimneysof them belongs to the United church.

The locations of the different Rocky Mountain House posts are today part of a National Historic Site that preserves and tells the story of life during the fur trade era.


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