Fort Steele & Area
Interesting Note: Fort Steele was originally named "Galbraith's Ferry". In 1887 the name was changed to Fort Steele, after the Mounted Police averted trouble with Chief Isadore's band of Indians.
The origins of Fort Steele are traced back to the small settlement of Galbraith's
Ferry, created during the Wild Horse Creek Gold Rush of 1864/65. Galbraith's Ferry
was founded after Fisherville, the first white man's town in southeastern B.C.
Located just six kilometers up the Wild Horse River from Fort Steele, the Fisherville
historic site, as well preserved as possible by a local volunteer heritage society,
offers a fascinating glimpse into how this region began.
In 1888, now under Canadian rule, the name Galbraith's Ferry was changed to
Fort Steele in honor of Sam Steele of the North West Mounted Police, who had
settled tensions between white settlers and local First Nations people. By 1898,
Fort Steele had become the commercial, social and administrative center of the
East Kootenay. However, the "Capitol of East Kootenay" died a slow
death after the long-awaited railway bypassed the town. The once thriving frontier
settlement soon became a ghost town of deserted homes and businesses.
Today Fort Steele celebrates over 40 years as a Heritage Site, with over 60
restored heritage buildings showcasing the heyday of this frontier boomtown.
Complete with a collection of colorful characters who live on in yesteryear,
Fort Steele's streets once again thrive with the comedy and drama of that bygone
age. Living history street dramas, steam train rides, period tradesmen and Wild
Horse Theatre all combine to make a memorable and educational visit to Fort
Steele Heritage Town.
(Text courtesy of Valley Echo)
What Fort Steele & Area has to offer: