Fort Ellice



A quick glance at a modern map tells us which towns and cities are large and which are small.  Major transportation routes can quickly be inferred, and in general we can get a feel for a region.  A quick glance at almost any map of British North America in the mid 1800’s, for instance would be enough for the casual observer to make the assumption that Fort Ellice was a location of some importance.  Then, as now, font size alone tells us something, and on Palliser’s map, reflecting his journeys of 1857-59, Fort Ellice is prominent.[1]  It is instantly recognizable  as an important  juntion on a network of well marked  trails. When planning was underway for the railway, many assumed it would follow the old Carleton Trail and that Fort Ellice would make the transition from regional Hudson Bay Company post to prairie city. It almost happenned, but today, although the name survives  as the identity of the surrounding municipality,  the site itself doesn't appear on the average road map.



Palliser Map

http://www.flickr.com/photos/manitobamaps/2211818555/


A Section of a General Map of the Routes in British North America Explored by the Expedition Under Captain Palliser (1865)




The early 1800’s was a time of realignment for the fur trade in the West Local fur-bearing species had been in some cases been exhausted, competition was fierce and the traders were reaching out to various native tribes in an effort to attract their business. Posts sprang up and disappeared in short spans of time. The nature of the trade in southern Manitoba focused more on the provision of pemmican for the most distant posts than on actual gathering of furs and some posts evolved into way stations, central distribution or administration points, and even retail and service centres. Others were closed. By 1870 when the first trickle settlers began to venture west of Portage no posts existed in the southwestern corner Manitoba and the H.B.C. maintained only a limited presence in the area we now refer to as Western Manitoba.

By virtue of its location at the crossing of the Carlton / Edmonton Trail on the upper reaches of the Assiniboine near present day St. Lazarre, Fort Ellice had become an important centre, both for the Company and for the inhabitants of the regions and for those passing through. The Carlton trail was the Trans-Canada Highway of its day and Fort Ellice was its first gas station and convenience store west of Winnipeg.

The post had its beginnings at the heart of this time of reorganization and consolidation. The H.B.C. had absorbed the rival North-West Company in 1821 and temporarily regained the monopoly it regarded as its due.  But rival Independents and American companies would soon challenge that monopoly and the H.B.C. had to continue to be competitive. In 1831 they built a substantial fort near the confluence of the Beaver Creek with the Assiniboine Rivers, almost directly west of present-day Birtle. The post would trade in the area of earlier posts such as Fort Esperance (1783) and Cuthbert Grant House (1793), both former NorthWest Company concerns; and replace the H.B.C.’s Beaver House (1817).  The post was named in honour of Edward “Bear” Ellice a former director of the N.W. Co. and a current force within the HBC. 



Fort Ellice in 1859
Image From Manitoba Archives



Fort Ellice in 1875

Image From Manitoba Archives


Beginning in 1862, the establishment was re-built a mile downstream on the site now commemorated with a cairn.  By then it had outlasted most other posts in the farmlands that were about to be settled and indeed was beginning to make the transition from fur trade post to settlement-era service centre. The new post, built over a period of years by local Metis carpenter Jacob Beads, was bigger and better that the first establishment. In design it was typical and conventional in appearance, with its stockade of 15-foot posts readily visible on the crest of the valley as one approached by river of by trail. But within the walls it was more impressive. It’s “Big House” echoed permanence with its two and one-half storey height and solid Red River-frame construction. It also offered functionality with its combination of office space, meeting rooms and living quarters for the factor. Its rooms were heated by four fireplaces, Carron [2] stoves and a kitchen range. A picture of comfort with an official, almost governmental demeanor, the building inspired comments from visitors, most of whom had just traveled hundred of miles without seeing so much as a lean-to shanty.  A trading post, warehouse buildings, carpenter and blacksmith shops, dairy and icehouse as well as quarters for staff completed the picture.  The visitor might also be surprised to see all the buildings whitewashed and well cared for. Something the traveler would not have encountered at the earlier posts along the Assiniboine River. [3]

Anyone visiting the prairies in the mid 1800’s was likely to have passed through Fort Ellice, and such travelers were near unanimous in their praise for the setting.

Sanford Fleming, visited on one of his many surveying expeditions and, leaves this impression of the Assiniboine valley north of Fort Ellice as seen during the early 1870’s:

“The view from this point is magnificent; between two and three hundred feet below, extending far to the south and then winding to the east, was the valley of the Assiniboine. – at least two miles wide.”  One has to admit that he was not overly impressed with the Fort itself. “….two or three small white buildings on the edge of the plateau were pointed out as Fort Ellice.”  [4]

He, like almost every other visitor saw agricultural potential and noted that aside from the vast area west of the Assiniboine even to the east lots of prime land remained.



A photo from 1890

Image from the Manitoba Archives



This sketch from 1882 captures the winding Assiniboine and its broad valley.

Image From Manitoba Archives


And perhaps he was one of the first to really understand the ecology of the region. He could see that the current cycle of prairie fires was responsible for the lack of trees. He could envision the changes one would see if settlers were to plough fields and cut the hay that fueled the fires. Water would be retained in lakes and sloughs, in effect, the climate and growing conditions would be altered. [5]
Another useful account of the times comes from a recent recruit with the newly-formed North West Mounted Police. In 1874. Mr. Jean D’Artigue’s troop had passed along the Boundary Commission Trail that skirts Manitoba’s southern border, stopping for a time at Roche Percee in southeastern Saskatchewan, before heading on to Edmonton. Fort Ellice was the only place in the area to re-fit and to get fresh horses, which the outfit sorely needed. They had expected to meet someone from the Fort at Roche Percee, but none had arrive, so D’Artigue and a small company were sent on a detour to Ellice.

He happily notes that Fort Ellice was the “first human habitation which we had met since we left Dufferin.” Like other observant travelers he had already noted the unusually wide and deep river valleys through which our little prairie streams surge in the springtime and trickle in the fall. He correctly guessed that they must have once carried much more water but seems to believe that the climate must have once been much more warm and moist. We can forgive him for perhaps being unaware of the nature of the cataclysmic changes which the retreating glaciers and melting ice wrought on the landscape, and credit him with having pretty good geological instinct in an untrained sort of way. [6]

His account of the fort is cryptic, “It is composed of a few wooden buildings inhabited by the Company’s employees surrounded by a wooden palisade.” and he is not too impressed with the agricultural potential deeming the soil poor and complaining that they had to travel five miles from the fort to get good grass for the horses.  Like so visitors from the east, unschooled in the geography of the prairies, his impression of the land was dictated by the season in which he passed through. As noted elsewhere the prairies are both highly seasonal and widely cyclical in the face they present to the traveler. A dust dry and nearly barren hillside in late August, might well worn a lush green carpet of grass in May. An alkaline-rimmed dry slough visited in September would be unrecognizable in early June, rimmed with newly sprouted reeds and home to flocks of waterfowl.  Mr. Fleming was able to see past that, Mr. D’Artigue didn’t have the benefit of such imagination and training.  [7]




Winnipeg Daily Times, Feb. 2, 1883



This Manitoba Free Press article from March 22, 1873 reflects the concerns  of citizens who were well aware of the confrontations taking place in the U.S.  It also reflects the tendency of the papers to print rumours, but at least they admitted that they were rumours.

Perhaps the most detailed and widely-quoted impression comes to us from Nathaniel McKenzie a carpenter who arrived by at Fort Ellice in 1874 direct from the Orkney Islands to begin what was to become a lifetime of service as in the HBC. Co. He and a blacksmith walked from Fort Garry, nominally attached to a Cart Brigade loaded with food and supplies. He notes that the post was “very much an Inland Post” [8] in that it was quite isolated, perhaps receiving communication from the outside world only once a year. He mentioned the blacksmith and carpenter’s shops.  He refers to the location as “beautiful..with charming and lovely scenery.” describes the fort site as beings “on a beautiful plain dotted with little poplar bluffs, high and dry, with  numerous springs of beautiful cold water gushing up at the top of the level in the face of the banks.” [9]  His description of the fort itself  seems to have been the basis for most subsequent accounts and is worth repeating in its original form:

“The Fort was built in a large square, the big front gates being about thirty yards from the brow of the bank which was very precipitous at this point, and well wooded with small trees, ferns of all kinds, and saskatoon bushes. Raspberries  and other berries were also numerous along the banks, and in the valIey, when in season. On one side of the square was a long row of one-storey log buildings, with thatched roofs all joining each other. The carpenters' shop was at one end of and the blacksmith’s shop at the other. The doors or entrances all facing to the Fort. There was the men's house, the mechanic’s house/the native servants and dog drivers houses, also the married servants’ houses, each of which as I have mentioned consisted of one large room in size suitable for the number of servants supposed to occupy any one of then. A door opened into each from the outside and there was no other means of entrance to any of the other houses in that long row of buildings, except by its own door or down the chimney.

Two tiers of rough bunks round the walls, were the sleeping accomodations, while a large mud chimney, open fireplace, provided ventilation. We also did all our cooking at the-open fireside. On the other side of the square, in an equally long row, built in the same style, were warehouses, ration houses, dry meat and pemmican house, flour, pork and beef house, and a well appointed dairy, with a good cellar and lots, of ice. These buildings were one-and-a-half storey high and were without chimneys or fireplaces.     



From the Winnipeg Daily Times, June 5, 1884




The Manitoban, May 3, 1873


On one side of the big gate in front was the trading store and district office, and on the other aide the fur store and reserve stock warehouse, each of these buildings were very long and substantial, fully one-and-a-half storeys high, and  had been shingled the previous year, the shingles being manufactured by Indians and haff-breeds m the carpenter shop the previous winter, with the aid of axes and draw knives. They could make the shingles very quickly—I was quite surprised to see the finished article. I most say the shingles were well made and lasted for years, giving a perfectly tight roof. The main building in the Fort was the" Boss's or, the "big house," as it was called, being the quarters of the Officers and clerks. It stood well back in the square, its front being in line-with the end of the long rows of buildings on either side, so that every house in the Fort could be seen from its front windows. It was a two-and-a-half-storey, 60x40 feet building, with a large kitchen behind, built from the same plan as the officers' dwellings in Fort Garry, and known as a Red River frame building. It was made of 8 inch logs, 10 feet long, set in a frame. It had a nice balcony and verandah, the main entrance being in the center of the building, and opening into a large recreation and council hall. The boss's private office was to the right, and the parlour or sitting room to the left. Large mess room, dining room, and private bedrooms were in the rear.

Upstairs was a large hall and reading room and bed rooms for the clerks. The upstairs was heated with large Caron stoves, as well as the hall downstairs, and the trading shop and district office. The same mud chimneys—two of them—only more elaborate and massive than those belonging to tike other buildings were in the big house. There were four fire places on the ground floor, and another in the kitchen, as well as a large cooking range. A splendid mud oven stood outside for baking bread and cooking extra large roasts. There was alao a fine well close at hand with the proverbial oaken bucket attached to a rope and chain. The big house and kitchen were thatched, and all the houses were mudded and white washed with lime, altogether they presented a good appearance from a distance. A four foot side walk ran all around the square, and another one from the front gate to the front door of the big house. There was a nice vegetable, flower and kitchen garden of about an acre behind the house. The flagstaff stood at the front gate, and the Belfrey stood outside the Boss' private office. A high stockade enclosed the whole square, so that when the big gate were locked at night there was no danger of losing any scalps before morning.” [10]

 


The "Big House" put to commercial uses for a number of years after the H.B.C. ceased operations in 1890.

Image From Manitoba Archives

His mention of scalps, though lighthearted in tone, does remind us however that there was a reason that many (but not all) fur trade had stockades. Despite the fact that relations with the native people were, in Canada, not often marred by violence, there were episodes and there were concerns. Foremost on the minds of HBC employees and early settlers alike was the fact that the parties of Sioux from the U.S., seeking refuge after very violent incidents across the border, were causing some concern. The Winnipeg papers in 1873 engaged in a wordy debate over just how much of a threat these somewhat unwelcome guests were. It turned out that they posed little threat at all but people at the time weren’t quite so sure. [11] (73.05.10 MB)

On one of his first trips outside the fort McKenzie seems quite astounded by the countryside.

“ The view gave me at least a thrilling feeling of ecstasy and delight, which made me fairly yell. ‘Oh, how beautiful!’”  [12]

In 1881 another passer by, author and lecturer Reverend Aeneas McDonell Dawson  noted that along the upper Assiniboine “There are fine woods on either bank, often extending the whole breadth of the valley.” [13] He appears to appreciate the scenery.

“From the heights at Fort Ellice,-about 250 feet above the surface of the stream, a fine view is obtained of the most beautiful undulating prairie lands, …” and in fact waxed quite poetic:

“Stretching far inland are seen, as you glide along the waters of the Assiniboine, beautiful valleys with winding banks, covered in some places, with green herbage, and in others, with forests which ascend the level of the plain above.” [14]

He was also quite optimistic on the issue of agricultural potential.

“The section of the North-West territory which borders on the Upper Assiniboine, is destined, no doubt, to become one of the richest agricultural countries in the world.”

The beauty of the area may well have been in the eye of the beholder, but there were other factors at play. By 1881 a cycle of increased rainfall had transformed the fertility of the plains.  Mr. Dawson may well have been that variety of traveler inclined to be enthusiastic, predisposed perhaps to “boosting” the area, but the landscape he crossed was indeed changed from that witnessed just a few short years earlier.

 


From: Winnipeg Daily Times, May 17, 1882






From: Winnipeg Daily Times, July 9, 1879,
May 18, 1880



From: Winnipeg Daily Times, Oct. 6, 1881


Our most substantial and personal accounts of both the appearance and the operation of Fort Ellice comes from a young man, Willie Trail, who came west from Ontario in 1864 to accept and “engagement” (five year commitment) with the H.B.C. He came not even knowing where he would be posted and appears to have been very happy with Fort Ellice.
In a letter to his mother dated Aug. 7 1864, he notes how the fort was visible from four to five miles off, and how after crossing the river, it took what he estimated to be a 300 foot climb to reach the buildings. His description is worth repeating:

“The Fort is a large log [house] full two stories high. The upper part is at present used for a store room the store having been blown up with gunpowder this summer with the loss of 2 lives and one or two wounded. There is a high stockade of poplar about 15 ft high on two sides of the fort the rest has not been completed yet. The fort stands on one of the prettiest places I have seen. It is about 350 ft above the river which runs immediately below us. The banks of the river are all very steep and high and look very pretty. It is better than half a mile across from hill to hill the valley being covered with small shrubbery and the river, which is small, running the most impossible curls and crooks you can imagine.” [15]

In other letters he describes the  pemmican production process allowing that, “Pemmican is not bad stuff” P31 He assures his mother that he has “not fallen in love with any of the Indian girls yet though there are some nice looking ones here. Everybody tells me it is one of the best and prettiest places in the H.B. territory.” His opinion on the H.B.C. policy that no one can marry during first “engagement” (5 yrs?) is that it is a sensible one, reasoning that families are expensive to feed.” His letters are full of opinion and observation. [16]

In addition to its traditional fur trade function, the post’s location along the main trail west, and situated in the heart of fine agricultural land, allowed it to serve other purposes. By 1872 it was the office for the district of Swan River, and it had become headquarters for the numerous survey parties sent out to prepare the west for colonization. The newly-formed Northwest Mounted Police were stationed there for a short time, and often used the facilities in their journeys to and from the west. In many ways it was becoming like a town, serving as a way station, inn, stopping place, and frontier supermarket. It was a postal centre, and a depot for the exchange of horses. Red River carts were manufactured within its walls. It was acquiring quasi-governmental status and was the main treaty-paying post for several native tribes. [17]



From: Winnipeg Daily Times, Dec  27, 1883,
& April 30, 1880




From: Winnipeg Daily Times, April 30, 1880


During the early seventies the general consensus was that the trans-continental rail line would pass along the line of the old Carlton Trail, and as such would cross the Assiniboine somewhere in the Fort Ellice area. As time passed a northern route was advanced which would pass through the Interlake by way of the Narrows and eventually follow the Saskatchewan River system.  A lengthy letter in the Manitoba Free Press in 1878 pinpoints the advantage of the southern route through Manitoba in that it would pass through good farmland which would provide immediate business in both immigration and crops transport business.  It is interesting to note that the letter writer, who saw the advantage for both Winnipeg and the new western settlements, anticipated the thoughts of Jim Hill and the “new” syndicate who in the spring of 1881 adopted the same reasoning. [18]

In the meantime, although cart brigade and horseback remained the fallback option for transportation the somewhat unexpected appearance of the steamboat as an option helped Fort Ellice maintain its function as a travel hub. It was unexpected because, although steamers began making runs to Portage in 1878, the head of navigation on the Assiniboine was generally thought to be Currie’s Landing at the foot of the “Grand Rapids of the Assiniboine” just 7 kilometres east of the future site of Brandon. On May 15 in the watery spring of 1879 Captain Griggs and his determined team fought their way through that considerable obstacle and thereafter both the Marquette and the Alpha were making runs to Fort Ellice, the new head of navigation. [19] This service of course operated only when water levels permitted, but during the wet years of 1880 – 1882 it was a surprisingly long season. [20]  Two warehouses and a landing were quickly erected and well used. The addition of river travel for a short period of time, increased its importance as a jumping off point for anyone going west. The papers were full of accounts of surveyors, NWMP troops, and horse traders taking the boats to Ellice and taking the trail from there. [21] John Macoun, whose explorations observations and subsequent reports would almost single-handedly convince the C.P.R. executives to adopt a southern route, was on the first voyage of the Marquette to Fort Ellice in 1879. The community hosted the Governor General’s party on their tour of Western Canada in the summer/fall of 1881 and the some of the party returned to Winnipeg by taking the steamboat Marquette to the head of the railway which had just reached Portage. [22]

The steamer era was a short one. By 1884 on no longer finds ads offering direct service by steamer to Ellice, the Marquette for instance appears to be traveling only as far as Millford and the owners o the Alpha seem to have her working on the Red where they have tried to resurrect the Winnipeg – St. Vincent route as competition to the C.R.R. . The Alpha did end the season running some freight from Brandon to Ellice in the latter part of the summer, but with the railway getting closer the steamboat era was coming to an end.  [23]




From: Winnipeg Daily Times,  June 26, 1883

With the steamboats out of commission and the transcontinental railway passing to the south the settlements to the north of the line were increasingly served by stage coach service with Ellice on a line that passed along the old trail through Shoal Lake and Birtle. Telegraph service came in and an additional stage line connected the community with the railroad town of Moosomin in 1883 [24]

Thye various transportation links were helping Fort Ellice become more than just and HBC Post. It was attracting both homesteaders and businessmen. In the spring of 1880 an enterprising settler opened a boarding house for “Travelers and Emigrants” offering “accommodation and comfort” on “the elevated plateau near the Hudson Bay Company’s establishment and Steamboat Landing” and an “extensive view of the beautiful valley of the Assiniboine”  [25] The owner, Benjamin Warwick, was in the news a few years later, reporting on the early harvest, evidently farming at that time. [26] By the summer of 1881 the site was surveyed into town lots in anticipation of the next logical stage in it’s development as a retail service centre. Lots in the would-be town of “Colville”, though carefully surveyed and drawn up, never got a chance to sell.  [27]

Though hindsight dictates that its days were numbered in 1881, those on scene at the time had a much different view. In that year it was visited by St. Paul writer Frank Austin Carle who traveled Canadian prairies compiling stories, descriptions, and sketches for publication in the Pioneer Press newspaper of St. Paul Minnesota. He refers to it as the “Oldest and best known point” between Winnipeg and Rockies.” [28]

 He describes his approach to the Fort with his characteristic restraint.

“None of the strangers to the country were prepared for the striking spectacle that presented itself to their eyes, accustomed to the dull monotony of the prairie scenery, as the road, after winding through a thick growth of timber, suddenly emerged upon the brink of the valley. The Assiniboine here flows through a valley nearly two miles wide and 250 feet below the level of the plain.” he goes on to call the scene “picturesque and striking in the extreme” [29]

At that time the post would be at its largest and most well-developed stage, with its large residence and numerous outbuildings, attractively perched on the lip of the valley overlooking a farm plot, steamboat landing, stores and warehouses. Mr. Carle learned that Fort Ellice was “an important one” a central point for the dispersal of trade to lesser posts to the north.  He learned that the well-timbered valley walls had been barren as recently a ten years earlier and that the trees had taken hold only after a certain level of settlement and well-traveled trails broke the cycle of prairie fires. He reflects upon the change settlement will make to the land and accurately foresees a prairie made more hospitable and productive by\the spread of woodlands.  He observed that the opposite bank of the river was dotted with new houses “as far as the eye can reach” and refers to the reach of settlement begun four years earlier at Rapid City and expanding towards the more recent towns of  Minnedosa and Birtle. [30]
 



This clip from a Winnipeg Daily Times article in the December 1, 1883 edition poked a bit of fun at the constant speculation, boosting, and general elbowing for position as communities pinned their hopes on rail lines.


Although bypassed by the main line it continued to grow as an agricultural centre. By 1883 the area was home to large productive farms, like the 1280 acre spread farmed by D.C, O’Keefe and his two sons, from which he was shipping both grains and livestock.  The Chief factor of the HBC Post, Mr. McDonald was himself a farmer of note and a Wm. McDonald had over a hundred head of cattle on his farm. By 1884 the Winnipeg Daily Times reports that “a very large acreage under crop” adding that a Mr. Stewart was erecting both a sawmill and a grist mill. [31]

If the inevitable decline of Fort Ellice as a trading and transportation centre was signaled with the decision of the C.P.R. to build its transcontinental line to the south, its doom was assured when the long-awaited Manitoba and North Western line reached Birtle in 1885 then turned northwards to cross at Millwood, spawning yet another short-lived boom town. The settlement seemed to accept its fate gracefully and without fanfare. In 1890 the HBC sold the store to the storekeeper where it prospered for a short time as a county store and way station on the Birtle-Moosomin stage line. By 1904 the Lewarton brothers were operating the store and “offered the residence, store, post office, stopping-house and stables…” for sale. What small trade there was ended when the Grand Trunk Railway came to St. Lazarre in 1909.The buildings soon were dismantled, moved, or left to crumble. [32]

Today a cairn marks the spot and a few signs remain of the Big House and two cemeteries. For years the site has been on private property but recently the Municipality has shown an interest in developing the site as a Historic/Tourist attraction. Perhaps the time will soon come when travelers on Highway 42 just south of St. Lazare will see a sign reminding them that something important once went on nearby.



Winnipeg Daily Times:  June 13, 1879



Bibilography

1. Excellent on-line copies of this and other maps are available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/manitobamaps/2211818555/in/set-72157603404657457/
2. A type of stove made at the Carron Foundry in Falkirk, Scotland, exported to fur trade posts in Canada. The most common form consisted of a rectangular firebox made up of 6 cast-iron plates with a smoke hole and a fuel door. These stoves were very practical in the fur trade because they could easily be taken apart and shipped.
3. Meldrum, Ruth Fort Ellice, Ellice 1883-1983, R.M. Of Ellice Historical Society, 1983 P11-21
4. Grant, George M.: Ocean to Ocean, Sanford Fleming’s Expedition Through Canada in 1872, S. Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, Canada 1877, 114
5. Grant, 115, 113
6. d' Artigue, Jean,   Six Years in the Canadian North-West, Hunter Rose and Co  1882  43
7. d’Aritgue 65,66
8 McKenzie, Nathaniel M. J.,The men of the Hudson's Bay Company, 1670 A.D.-1920 A.D . Fort William, Ont.: Times-Journal Presses, 1921, 20  21
9.  McKenzie 21
10.  McKenzie 21-23
11. The Manitoban, 73.05.10
12. McKenzie 26
13. Dawson, Æneas McDonell, The North-West Territories and British Columbia (Ottawa: Printed by C.W. Mitchell, 1881) 30
14. Dawson 31
15. Traill, William E., Fur Trade Letters of Willie Traill 1864-1893  (Ed. K Douglas Munro –U. of Alberta Press. 2006  25
16.  Traill, 31, 32
17. Meldrum, Ruth Fort Ellice, Ellice 1883-1983 R.M. Of Ellcie Historical Society, 1983, 19
18. Manitoba Free Press, 78.10.14 More details of this and other steamboat exploits are dealt with in other chapters
19. Winnipeg Daily Times, 79.05.27
20. Winnipeg Daily Times 81.09.20 , 79.06.13
21. Winnipeg Daily Times 79.07.09
22. Winnipeg Daily Times 81.08.18  & Meldrum
23. Winnipeg Daily Times 84.05.10, 84.06.28
24. Winnipeg Daily Times 80.02.25, 83.02.02  & Winnipeg Daily Sun 82.03.06
25. Winnipeg Daily Times 80.04.30,
26. Winnipeg Daily Times 84.09.06,
27. Winnipeg Daily  Sun  81.09.28WDS ,  (See also R.M. of Ellice History)
28 Carle, Frank Austin 1851-1930, The British Northwest: Pen and sun sketches in the Canadian wheat lands: The illustrations from photographs taken upon the spot . St Paul, Minn.: Pioneer Press Publishing Co., 1882. 55

29. Carle 70
30. Carle 71
31. Winnipeg Daily Times 83.03.01, 84.05.09, 84.06.05
32. Abra, Marion, A View of the Birdtail, A History of the Municipaility of Birtle, 1878-1974, History Committee of the Municipality of Birtle, 1974 79





On Nov. 19, 2012 the Winnipeg Free Press reported that the site of Fort Ellice was purchased by the Nature Conservance of Canada

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/fort-ellice-will-greet-visitors-again-179909491.html