Posted by: danielfee | April 23, 2013

Travel Photo of the Day 04-23-2013

Fort Steele - British Columbia, Canada

Fort Steele – British Columbia, Canada

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Fort Steele - British Columbia, Canada

Fort Steele is a heritage town in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada. Fort Steele was a gold rush boom town founded in 1864 by John Galbraith. The town was originally called “Galbraith’s Ferry”, named after the ferry set up by the city’s founder over the Kootenay River.

In the late 1890s, Fort Steele was growing rapidly and the Canadian Pacific railway showed interest in Fort Steele. It was decided that a station would be built, but as the document stating the railway was to go through Fort Steele was on its way to being approved, Colonel James Baker had other ideas. Baker, a member of the British Columbia legislature, owned a small logging camp named Joseph’s Prairie. Baker bribed and blackmailed his fellow members and convinced them to bypass Fort Steele and bring the railway through Joseph’s Prairie. This was final after the document stating the railway was to go through Fort Steele was “lost” in the mail. Fort Steele’s population quickly dropped as the population moved to the more appealing Cranbrook, the new name for Joseph’s Prairie.

After Fort Steele was abandoned, the site slowly started to decay. In the mid-1960s, B.C parliament started to preserve many historic sites. In 1967, Fort Steele was designated a historic site and restoration began. In 1969 Fort Steele opened to the public as Fort Steele Heritage Town.

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