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.”

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