Edmonton and Calgary Trail, Part 1
1840 Robert Rundle was one of three missionaries appointed by the Hudson's
Bay Company (HBC) to be a company chaplain and, assigned to Fort Edmonton,
he travelled the farthest west of the
During his initial years at the fort, Rundle performed the
majority of his duties inside the post, offering worship services, baptisms and marriages
for the fort inhabitants and some of the visiting Aboriginal people. To accommodate
his labours, in 1843 a chapel was built that, according to Rundle's diaries,
could accommodate up to 100 people. By that time, however, the company
chaplain had shifted his focus and efforts to the people who lived beyond
the walls of the fort.
In ministering to the Aboriginal
peoples, Robert Rundle spent much of his time away from Fort Edmonton,
travelling throughout the large district assigned to him, an area that
spanned all of present-day Alberta and part of Saskatchewan. After his departure in 1848, the mission at Fort Edmonton was occupied by
the Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Jean Baptiste Thibeault. By the time
the next Methodist missionary, Thomas
Woolsey, arrived in 1855, he found little room for a Methodist ministry.
He consequently reopened the mission post that was established years
earlier by Rundle
at Pigeon Lake.