Victoria Beaulieu

New event highlights town’s fur trade history

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

With the help of a Canada 150 grant, an event based on the local history of the voyageurs and the fur trade came to Fort Malden National Historic Site, free of charge to the public.

Reenactors from the Maidstone and area historical society­­­ showcased what life was like in the 1800’s during Rendezvous 2017 at Fort Malden National Historic Site over the weekend.

Victoria Beaulieu, president of Maidstone and Area Historical Society got in contact with Alex Dale, interpretation officer at Fort Malden Historic Site, and asked if Fort Malden would like to partner with them. Once they agreed, they contacted the town and the event came together. The idea is to show off a period of history that is often overlooked at Fort Malden. With this, the Rendezvous 2017 event was born.

Adam Veldhuis with Archery Windsor Sportsman’s Club demonstrates how to properly shoot an arrow at Rendevous 2017 at Fort Malden National Historic Site.

“We talk a lot about the military side of things here at Fort Malden with the War of 1812 and the Rebellions of 1837, we often forget that this was such an important stop on the trade routes at the time throughout the late 18th century and the early 19th century,” explained Dale. “It’s a period of time that other sites and other museums like the Park House Museum in Amherstburg do a wonderful job of showcasing, but particularly here at Fort Malden we don’t go on a lot about it. The Maidstone and area historical society came up with this idea of showcasing that time period.”

Reenactors from the Maidstone and area historical society­­­ showcased what life was like in the 1800’s during Rendevous 2017 at Fort Malden National Historic Site over the weekend.

On site over the weekend was the Ontario Fur Management Association, showcasing furs as well as the traps to catch the animals in order to collect them. They were able to talk about the pelts, how they were used, and the fur craze of wanting beaver pelts from the Canadian wilderness.

Also happening over the weekend was Tibert the Voyageur and storyteller, knife smithing demonstrations by Daniel Linkenheld, canoes on the river, a camp pea soup competition and so much more.

“There’s something for everybody, with the town having their Culture Days event, and us doing this, it’s a really great family event,” said Beaulieu. “We have a lot going on. Re-enactors from all over Ontario have come in, we have people from the other side of Toronto, Peterborough. It’s a fun thing and everyone is very excited about it. We may have to do it again.”

Maidstone & Area Historical Society pair with Amherstburg and Fort Malden on event

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Add another event to Amherstburg’s calendar thanks to the Maidstone and Area Historical Society.

The Maidstone and Area Historical Society is teaming with the town of Amherstburg and Fort Malden National Historic Site to present “Rendezvous 2017 – A Voyageur and Fur Trading Encampment.” Victoria Beaulieu, president of the Maidstone and Area Historical Society, said they also worked with the Windsor-Essex Community Foundation and the Community Foundations of Canada and that partnership resulted in a $7,500 Canada 150 grant.

The two-day event will be at Fort Malden Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 and feature canoes on the Detroit River, a camp frying pan competition, a camp pea soup competition, presentations and storytellers which will include the likes of Seamus Gunn, Tibert the Voyageur, author Rob Malo among others.

The Maidstone & Area Historical Society is teaming with Fort Malden and the town of Amherstburg on an event Sept. 30-Oct. 1. From left: Lambert Wybernga, society president Victoria Beaulieu, Mason Hillier and Amherstburg’s tourism co-ordinator Jennifer Ibrahim.

The Maidstone & Area Historical Society is teaming with Fort Malden and the town of Amherstburg on an event Sept. 30-Oct. 1. From left: Lambert Wybernga, society president Victoria Beaulieu, Mason Hillier and Amherstburg’s tourism co-ordinator Jennifer Ibrahim.

Re-enactors and participants that are currently scheduled include Provincial Marine Amherstburg, the Niagara Metis Council Voyageurs, the St. Clair Voyageurs from Michigan, the Windsor-Essex Canoe Club, the Ontario Fur Management Federation, Archery Windsor and the Maidstone Voyageurs.

“There’s going to be a lot of activities going on,” said Beaulieu.

Fur trading was a key component in the settling of the area centuries ago with Fort Malden and the Park House Museum being “instrumental in the fur trade industry,” said Beaulieu.

“The Maidstone and Area Historical Society has always had a good relationship with the Provincial Marine and Fort Malden,” said Beaulieu. “They come out to our encampments to help. It’s nice to have two areas working together.”

Jennifer Ibrahim, visitor information centre manager with the town of Amherstburg, said this will be another “signature Canada 150 event” for the town. She said it is a historical event that presents “fun and interactive opportunities for our guests.”

There are other events planned that weekend in the downtown core, Ibrahim added, including art demonstrations, plein air artists, concert bands and other events.

“It will complement what Fort Malden and the Maidstone and Area Historical Society are doing,” said Ibrahim.

Events will run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. For more information, e-mail ont.fort-malden@pc.gc.ca or proudacres@gmail.com.