Posts at Rocky Mountain House, Part 1: Dirty Tricks Between Northwest
Company and Hudson's Bay Company
Fur Trade Posts at Rocky Mountain House, Part 4: Native Use and Closing
of the Posts
Rocky 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
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.
Methodist as well as Catholic missionaries travelled
regularly to Rocky Mountain House to visit the Blackfoot, Sarcee, Stoney
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
None of them, however, took up permanent residence, and of the
more than 20 churches located in present-day Rocky Mountain House today
of them belongs to the United church.
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.