Fort Ellice

Fort Ellice was a HUDSON'S BAY CO trading post located on Beaver Creek near the confluence of the Assiniboine and Qu'Appelle rivers, just east of the present-day Manitoba-Saskatchewan border. Established in 1831 by C.T. William Todd, the fort was intended to protect claims to Hudson's Bay Company lands from venturing American interests, as well as to sell provisions such as pemmican, tools and traps to passing traders. The post was named after Edward ELLICE, an English MP and senior in the HBC's London Committee. In 1862, the modest installation was replaced by a larger and more elaborate structure approximately 2 km east. This second provisional post, which retained the name of the first, included a large, 2-storey officers' quarters-reception hall, a row of smaller houses, stores and a workshop, all surrounded by a log palisade. After the 1870 Deed of Surrender transferring many HBC rights to the new national government, the fur trade in the West began to give way to general settlement, and this fort like many others became redundant. Today a historical marker stands near the site of this once-vibrant post and the nearby village of St Lazare has an interpretive centre explaining the importance of Fort Ellice to the region.