Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pelka'mulox and Nkwala

Nkwala's father, Pelka'mulox, was the third chief in the lineage of Okanagan chiefs to bear that name, which was by linguistic origin Spokan.
The name Pelka'mulox means "Rolls-Over-The-Earth."
The first Pelka'mulox was apparently born c. 1675-1680; the second born 1705-1710.
Our fur trade records appeared to show that the third man we know as Pelka'mulox died in November 1822.
He did not.

The third Pelka'mulox had a brother named Kwali'la, who assumed the joint Thompson-Shuswap Country chieftaincy at Kamloops at Pelka'mulox's death.
In years past, Kwali'la had supported young Pelka'mulox in wars against the Secwepemc [Shuswap], Nlaka'pamux [Thompson's River], and the Kutenai.
Kwali'la had also helped Pelka'mulox establish the Okanagan people around Nicola Lake, which had been Secwepemc territory until that time.
Nkwala was one of four children and heir of Pekla'mulox -- his eldest boy if not his eldest child.
With his dying breath, Pelk'mulox entrusted Kwali'la with his children's upbringing, and ordered that Nkwala be raised to avenge his death.

And so we must adjust the date of Pekla'mulox's death -- he may have died some eight or nine years before 1822, when Nkwala was still a boy.
From information contained below, we know it was sometime after the winter of 1809-1810.

The argument that resulted in Pelka'mulox's death was caused when a Lil'wat chief from Lillooet Lake denounced Pelka'mulox, who had returned to the area after meeting North West Company traders Lagace and MacDonald at David Thompson's Saleesh House, in what is now Montana.
The Lil'wat chief called Pelka'mulox a liar because he did not believe Pelka'mulox's descriptions of the North West Company men at Saleesh House.
And with this story, we are suddenly part of a David Thompson story -- John Work descendents will also perk up!
One of two Legace men were with David Thompson at Saleesh House; Jack Nisbet, author of "The Mapmaker's Eye," says it was Charles Legace.
MacDonald was Thompson's clerk, Finan MacDonald.
David Thompson's men built Saleesh House east of Kullyspell House in 1809.

This story has so far led us from David Thompson's Saleesh House, to Pelka'mulox's murder at the Fountain, on the Fraser River north of Fountain Ridge.
It is going to lead us westward down the Lillooet River to Harrison Lake and Fort Langley some forty years later.
The Lil'wat people remained isolated from the fur trade for many years, though they probably eventually traded at Fort Langley, established on the Fraser River in the 1820's.
In 1827, Francis Ermatinger and another man partially explored the Lillywit River, hoping to find a route to coastal Fort Langley.
In 1846, Alexander Caulfield Anderson set out on the same exploration, with the same goal in mind.
From Kamloops, he crossed rain-swollen rivers and followed Hat Creek to Marble Canyon.
He trailed the Pavillon [now Pavillion] River to the banks of the Fraser.
A few miles downriver was the fishing village called the Fountain, where thirty-five years earlier Peka'mulox had lost his life.
Anderson sent his horses back to Kamloops and crossed the Fraser River, walking down the west banks of the river to the mouth of Seton River.
He and his men walked the sloping north shores of two mountain lakes [later named Seton and Anderson], and crossed a height of land.
The party followed a stream until they reached a village at the north end of a lake Anderson called Lillooet Lake.
The Lil'wat people who lived here had no food to spare, but they possessed "some good cedar canoes, made after the model of those seen on the coast.
"After some parlaying I succeeded in hiring a couple of these, together with the necessary conductors."
The combined parties paddled past the rapids that blocked the lower end of Lillooet Lake and reached the lake Anderson's Native guides called Little Lil'wat Lake.
At a second Lil'wat village Anderson hired another canoe and men to paddle them downriver, and the party made camp that night at the head of a violent rapid.
The river on the other side of the portage was rough and filled with rapids.
"At this stage of the water it is a perfect torrent; and at a higher stage .. must afford a very precarious navigation," Anderson wrote in his journal.
"In fact, but for the expertness of our Indian boutes, who are thoroughly versed in the intricacies of the river, we should, I fear, have much difficulty in getting through."
On the second day of river travel the two canoes floated into a large lake, called by the Fort Langley men "Harrison's Lake."
The next day they travelled through heavy rain to Harrison's River, and three hours later Anderson's Lil'wat paddlers brought the fur traders into the Fraser River south of its barrier of rapids and falls.
That evening, Anderson's party arrived at Fort Langley.

On this journey through Anderson and Seton Lake and over the hills to the streams that fell into the Lillooet Lakes, Anderson's Native guides showed him a "Large isolated block of granite, bearing the impression closely resembling that of a human foot.
"The Indians call it the Foot-stone, and have, of course, a marvelous tradition connected with it."
He heard the story of the Transformers, a magical group of people who transformed the lives of all the people who lived here -- but modern day researchers have transformed the story.
This is where Anderson supposedly heard about the Sasquatch.
And I will tell that story in my next posting...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Chief Nkwala and his extended family

The man who was to become Chief Nkwala was born at the head of Okanagan Lake, or in the area of Nicola Lake, about 1785, and died in 1859.
The fur traders called him Nicola, and to the fur traders in New Caledonia and Thompson's River district, he was the most powerful chief of his time.
But where did Chief Nkwala come from, and how did he get his power?
And who were the people who were in his family?

His father's name was Pelkamu'lox; Nkwala's mother was Pelkamu'lox's second wife, a Stuwi'x woman.
Nkwala's father was a noted Okanagan chief descended from the Spokan people, who lived in a fortified stone house at a place called Sali'lx, or "heaped up stone," at the junction of the Similkameen and Okanagan rivers.
About 1790, he moved north to the Nicola Lake area on the urging of his half-brother, Kwoli'la, a Secwepemc chief from the Thompson River district [Kamloops].
Palkamu'lox and Kwoli'la spent their summers on the open prairies around Nicola Lake, and made their winter home at Nkamapeleks at the north end of Lake Okanagan.
Pelkamu'lox was called "Grand Picotte" by the fur traders, and was considered their friend.
But at the Fountain on the Fraser River, Pelkamu'lox was killed by a Lil'wat (Lillooet) chief while on a trading expedition for the HBC.
This would have been in late Autumn, 1822, and if we say that Pelkamu'lox was about 20 years old when his son, Nkwala was born, he could have been about fifty-seven years old.
As the result of Pelkamu'lox's murder, the Okanagan and Secwepemc prepared for war, and Nkwala was recognized as the principal war leader.
Nkwala assembled 500 mounted warriors from all quarters, and conducted a successful retaliatory raid, killing or capturing hundreds of Lillooet people.

The Lillooet people did not come from the area near modern-day Lillooet, they came from Anderson and Seton Lakes west of the Fraser River, the Lillooet River and lakes, and Harrison Lake.
This country is rough and not horse friendly -- it is unlikely that the Okanagan and Secwepemc people rode their horses any further west than the 'Fountain' fishing village on the east bank of the Fraser River south of the mouth of Pavilion River.

Nkwala overshadowed all the other chiefs of his time in southern British Columbia, and despite his military actions toward the Lil'wat, was known for peacemaking and friendship with the fur traders.
As early as 1822, John McLeod wrote that "of all the Indians resorting to this place [he] has rendered the most aid to the whites and [is] undoubtedly the most manly and the most to dread if he turned against us."
Nkwala or one of his sons always acted as guide for the fur traders' brigades as they travelled through the Okanagan Valley toward Fort Okanogan (this tradition would be carried on by his descendents, as I have discovered).
And when Chief Trader Sam Black was murdered at the Thompson River post by a renegade Secwepemc youth, Nkwala encouraged the Secwepemc people to support company efforts to find and punish the murderer.
Nkwala's son was one of the party which eventually captured and shot the young man.

So far, almost all of this information has come from www.livinglandscpaes.bc.ca -- a project of the Royal British Columbia Museum.
This is a very good biography of Nkwala, and it lists many good sources which I will eventually follow up:
"The Golden Frontier: the recollections of Herman Francis Reinhard, 1851-1869," ed. D.B. Nunis, Jr. (Austin, Texas, 1962);
George Mercer Dawson, "Notes on the Shuswap People of British Columbia," Transactions of the Royal society of Canada, Section II, 1891, 3-44;
James Teit, "The Salishan Tribes of the Western Plateau," in Forty Fifth annual Report of the Bureau of american Ethnology, Ed., Frans Boas (Washington, 1930);
Kamloops Museum and Archives, John Tod and Donald Manson, "Thompson River Post Journal, 1841-43" (John Tod's post journals for 1841-3 are in B.C.Archives);
Paul Fraser, "Thompson River Journal, 1850-1852," and "Thompson River Journal, 1854-1855";
William Manson, "Kamloops Journal, 1859-60;"
Mary Balf, "A Very Great Chieftain," and "Notable Local Indians of the Early Days," vertical files, [Kamloops Museum and Archives];
John Tod, "History of New Caledonia and the Northwest Coast," BCArchives.
James McMillan and John McLeod, "Thompson's River Journal, 1822-23," B.97/a/1, HBCA;
Archibald McDonald, "Journal of Occurrences at Thompson's River, 1826-27," B.97/a/2, HBCA;
Letter, John Tod to Simpson, 1846, D.5/16, fo. 366-68, HBCA;
John Tod, "Narrative of a Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Comapny," 1878, Bancroft Collection, Bancroft Library, Berkley (this will also be in BCArchives).

Nkwala died about 1859 and was temporarily buried at Kamloops near the fort.
His body was removed and reburied at Nkama'peleks, at the north end of Okanagan Lake.

Now, to get onto Nkwala's geneaology....
Nkwala had fifteen or more wives taken from numerous tribes including the Okanagan, Sanpoil, Colville, Spokan, Secwepemc, Stuwi'x and Nlkak'pamux of Thompson's River.
He had 50 or more children whose descendents live in southern British Columbia or in Washington State.

I know only one of his sons, and that is Selixt-asposem, about whom I have already written.
Alexander Caulfield Anderson met Selixt-asposem in 1877, and as far as I know this is the only time they met.
But Anderson knew Selixt-asposem's cousin, Tsilaxitsa, much better.

Tsilaxitsa was the son of Nkwala's favorite sister.
I have a short biography of Tsilaxitsa, who I looked up when Anderson wrote in his 1877 Indian Reserve Commission journal that he had ridden many miles with Tsilaxitsa.
This short biography is a page of Notes on page 59 of the 42nd Report of the okanagan Historial Society Journal, 1978.
It reads:
"Silhitza (Chilliheetza, Chillihutza) was one of the most important Okanagan chiefs of this period.
"His father was an Okanagan from the Keremeos area.
"His mother was Chief Nicolas' (Nkwala) favourite sister and when she died giving birth to Silhitza, Chief Nicolas adopted the infant.
"On Nicolas' death in 1865, Silhitza became the nominal head of the Okanagan tribe, or at least of its northern branches.
"He played an active role in the political affairs of the 1860's and 1870's, especially in relation to the land question.
"He advocated peaceful methods in dealing with whites and laid stress on the hope that the Queen would deal justly with the Indians.
"He was the main Okanagan negotiator with Gilbert Sproat and the Indian Reserve Commission and in some interpretations is largely responsible for averting war in the late 1870's.
"After Sproat's re-establishment of Okanagan reserves, Silhitza moved to the new reserve at Douglas Lake.
He died in 1885 and was succeeded as chief of the Douglas Lake Band by his son, Johnny Chilliheetza."

Alexander Caulfield Anderson first met Tsilaxitsa in 1847, when he and Blackeye's son guided the fur traders up the newly opened Native road that led from the banks of the Fraser River near modern-day Boston Bar, over the hills to the Nicola Valley.
Blackeye and his son were Similkameen Natives who summered at Otter Lake, near modern day Tulameen, but who had their winter village in the Similkameen valley to the east.
It is probable that their winter village was somewhere around Keremeos -- but it could have been elsewhere.
But this makes me wonder -- what is Blackeye's relationship to Tsilaxitsa?
Are they related through Nkwala, who had a wife or wives in the Similkameen district?
Were Blackeye's son and Tsilaxitsa cousins -- were they half-brothers?
Or were they related through Nkwala's favourite sister who had a child by a Similkameen man from the Keremeos area?
Was Nkwala's sister married to Blackeye, or to one of Blackeye's relations?

And who was Blackeye's son-in-law, who Anderson had met in 1847 -- was this the same man who Anderson (and other fur traders) later called Blackeye's son?
Or was he another man, married to one of Blackeye's daughters?

We we still have the question -- who was Blackeye?
Assuming that Blackeye was the name the fur traders gave him, what was his Native name?
A Stlo:lo website says that he might be the man they knew as Yo:a'la -- is that a Similkameen or Okanagan Native name?

The importance, to Anderson, of the Natives who lived near Keremeos was shown when, in 1877, an early winter forced the members of the Indian Commission to abandon their work at Osoyoos, just east of the Similkameen Valley.
From Anderson's journal: "Owing to the advanced period of the year it has been found inadvisable to attempt the Similkameen country at present.
"It was judged prudent, however, that one of the Commissioners should visit the Indians and explain to the Chiefs our reasons for suspending our original intentions.
"Accordingly, Mr. Anderson, the Dominion Commissioner, diverged at Osooyoos [sic], and accompanied by the interpreter, Antoine, and travelling in light marching order, passed round by Keremeeoos [sic] and Ashnola (the latter place some forty miles up the Similkameen) reaching this place [Penticton], by a short cut over the mountains, on Monday afternoon, simultaneously with the rest of the party from Osooyoos by the direct road.
"Mr. Anderson did not see the chiefs, as they were absent on a hunting tour in the mountains, and were not expected back for a week.
"He therefore left a written memorandum with Mr. Price of Keremeeoos to communicate to the Chiefs on their return, explaining the object of his visit, viz. as being merely to shake hands and smoke a pipe with them, and to show them that, though through circumstances we were unable to fulfil our intention of visiting them officially this Autumn, we were not unmindful of them...."

This story continued the next day, when "A message came from the senior Chief of Similkameen.
"He desired to say that, one of his children having died in the mountains, he had come to the village to bury it, arriving there shortly after Mr. Anderson had left.
"That he had followed to Keremeeoos in the hope of overtaking him, and expressing great regret that, after Mr. Anderson had taken the trouble to come so far, he and his people should not have been at home to receive him."

Sproat's letter to the Provincial Secretary is revealing of several things...
On December 10, 1877, Sproat complained [nothing new there] that "Mr. Haynes at Osoyoos so much dislikes the prospects as regards Indian affairs across the line that he fears some trouble in the spring. [The American Natives were at war].
"He showed us a letter from Mr. Price at Keremeos urgently asking one of us to visit that place to calm the Indians, though the ground being covered with snow, no work could be done.
"The Provincial Commissioners [Sproat & McKinlay] having no authority to speak for the future declined to accede to this request, but Mr. Anderson went of his own accord rapidly to Keremeos, and overtook us on way to Penticton.
"He did not see Ashnola John, the acting chief, but saw Mr. Price and left a message that the Commissioners were turned back by the winter and he had visited Ashnola simply to shake hands.
"This will probably do good temporarily and commits the Province to nothing.."

Ashnola John was the acting chief at Ashnola, according to Sproat, but Anderson said he was the senior chief.
Ashnola is close to modern-day Keremeos, in the Similkameen valley.
As Anderson had taken his brigades through this valley many times during his years at Fort Colvile, it is possible that he knew Ashnola John from the past.
But I wonder -- could this man be Blackeye's son?
Could Ashnola have been Blackeye's winter village?

If anyone knows the answers to any of these impossible questions, please let me know.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas in the Fur Trade

Christmas and New Year celebrations were the most popular holidays at fur trade forts in the interior, and those two days were never ignored or forgotten.
But rarely did a gentleman or clerk ever jot down what occured on those days.
One exception is Daniel Harmon, who complained, "This being Christmas Day our people pay no further attention to worldly affairs than to drink all day...."
Harmon's idea of Christmas celebration was to read the Bible and meditate on the birth of Jesus.
The source for much of the material I will be giving you in this posting comes from Carolyn Podruchny's book, "Making the Voyageur World: Travelers and Traders in the North American Fur Trade, (Toronto: UofT Press, 2006) -- a great read if you want to know more about your voyageur ancestors' lives.
Other information will come from the Fort Alexandria journals, and some will come from other sources, which I will tell you.

No matter what Daniel Harmon's feelings were about the voyageurs' celebrations, it is clear that they had no objection to the use of alcohol on Christmas day.
On Friday, November 18, 1842, clerk Donald McLean handed the charge of Fort Alexandria over to Alexander Caulfield Anderson, and left for his isolated Chilcotin post.
On December 24, Anderson wrote: "Fine. As Christmas Day falls tomorrow I gave the men this day for themselves, with a regale of pork and horse flesh for tomorrow...."
The voyageurs who were to celebrate this Christmas at Fort Alexandria were: Dubois, Pierre Le Fevre, "John Lennard," Lacourse, Marineau, Edouard Lolo, Jean-Baptiste Vautrin, Trudelle, Quebec, and Therioux.
Anderson did not mention what almost certainly happened on Christmas morning.
The day began orderly enough -- The voyageurs rose at dawn and lined up inside the post with their flintlock guns primed with gunpowder.
They fired their guns into the air, one shot following another in rotation -- BANG, BANG, BANG -- to tell the world they celebrated Christmas and to inviegle a drink of rum from the gentleman in charge of the post.
In return for having been startled from bed by the blast of gunpowder, the gentleman gave his voyageurs their real regale -- alcohol.
It seems that the morning ritual was often (if not always) followed by "chaotic parties, where wild abandon and heavy drinking predominated.
"Alexander Henry the Younger complained on New Year's Day in 1803 that he was plagued with ceremonies and men and women drinking and fighting pell mell." (Source: Podruchny, Making the Voyageur World.)

Voyageurs sometimes travelled great distances to join their friends at other forts, rather than spend their Christmases alone.
It was common for the gentlemen and the voyageurs to celebrate together on these days.
Sometimes all hands pitched in to prepare an enormous feast of fish soup, roast pork or swan or duck, and spirits.
Working together to produce a celebratory feast created a feeling of goodwill between the two classes of men -- gentlemen and voyageurs.
After the feast the wives of gentlemen and voyageurs might line up to be kissed by all the men in the fort.
Following the formal beginning of the party and exchanging gifts (if that happened), the men celebrated by drinking liberally; sometimes the celebrations lasted three of four days.
There was singing, dancing, and fiddle music, possibly accompanied by an aboriginal drum.
Sometimes aboriginal men came to the fort to join in the celebrations; and sometimes the voyageurs visited the Native men's tents.
Not only did the voyageurs have the regale of liquor the gentlemen handed out to them, they brewed their own beer:
In July 1884 Anderson noted in the Fort Alexandria journals, "Brewed some beer, from 3 bush. Malt."

It took a stranger to the fur trade to write a really good description of a fur trade Christmas.
Artist Paul Kane wrote about a Christmas celebration he enjoyed at Edmonton House, I believe in 1846..
"On Christmas Day the flag was hoisted, and all appeared in their best and gaudiest style, to do honour to the holiday.
"Towards noon every chimney gave evidence of being in full blast, whilst savoury steams of cooking pervaded the atmosphere in all directions.
"About two o'clock we sat down to dinner.....
"The dining hall in which we assembled was the largest room in the fort, probably about fifty by twenty-five feet, well warmed by large fires, which are scarcely ever allowed to go out.
"The walls and ceiling are boarded, as plastering is not used, there being no limestone within reach, but these boards are painted in a style of the most startling barbaric gaudiness, and the ceiling filled with centre-pieces of fantastic guilt [sic] scrolls, making altogether a saloon which no white man would enter for the first time without a start, and which the Indians always looked upon with awe and wonder...
"No tablecloth shed its snowy whiteness over the board; no silver candelabra or gaudy china interfered with its simple magnificence.
The bright tin plates and dishes reflected jolly faces, and burnished gold can give no truer zest to a feast....
"My pleasing duty was to help a dish of mouffle, or dried moose nose; the gentleman on my left distributed, with graceful impartiality, the white fish, delicately browned in buffalo marrow.
"The worthy priest helped the buffalo tongue, whilst Mr. Rundell cut up the beaver's tails.
"Nor was the other gentlemen left unemployed, as all his spare time was occupied in dissecting a roast wild goose...
"Such was our jolly Christmas dinner at Edmonton; and long will it remain in my memory....."

Next came the dance, and Kane continued in his description:
"In the evening the hall was prepared for the dance to which Mr. Harriett had invited all the inmates of the fort, and was early filled by the gaily dressed guests.
"Indians, whose chief ornament consisted in the paint on their faces, voyageurs with bright sashes and neatly ornamented mocassins, half-breeds glittering in every ornament they could lay their hands on; whether civilized or savage, all were laughing, and jabbering in as many different languages as there were styles of dress.
"English, however, was little used, as none could speak it....
"The dancing was most picturesque and almost all joined in it.
"Occasionally I, among the rest, led out a young Cree squaw, who sported enough beads around her neck to have made a pedlar's fortune, and having led her into the centre of the room, I danced round her with all the agility I was capable of exhibiting, to some highland reel tune which the fiddler played with great vigour, whilst my partner with grave face kept jumping up and down, both feet off the ground at once......"
I had this information somewhere, but could not find it.
I finally located it in a book I had on my shelves, Brock Silversides' "Fort de Prairies; The story of Fort Edmonton," (Heritage House, 2005), pp. 26-27.

At Fort Alexandria in 1842, the Christmas celebrations ended on Monday 26th, though Anderson did not list any of the work the voyageurs were involved in.
By the next day a few men set off for Kamloops, and on the 28th he wrote that the men were "employed as usual."
On the 31st he wrote: "The men had today as a holiday, the New Year falling on Sunday, set up a prize of a pair of leggings to be shot for by the Indians & Canadians.
"The shooting was very poor, owing a good deal to the cold & the soberness of the day.
"Grand Corps eventually carried off the prize, though by no superior shooting.
"Indeed upon the whole the Canadians surpassed the natives.
"Men regaled themselves with flour, horse flesh &c., & the Indians got 6 kegs potatoes & 1 yard tobacco by way of festive."
Even the Natives joined in the Christmas and New Year celebrations!
(source: Fort Alexandria Journal, 1842-1843, B.5/a/5, fo. 35, HBCA.)

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Alexander Caulfield Anderson

"Everything around us wears now the aspect of winter; certainly a premature one, but nevertheless, in appearance, bona fide the winter of the good year 1844.
"Would I could predict with honest Sir Hugh that 'there are pippins & cheese to come' -- but alas! I fear cold fingers and hunger will be the more probable lot of many in the interior, and we, who are comparatively in comfort, have reason to be thankful that we are so.
"Yet are we but too prone, while contemplating the difficulties that seemingly environ our own lots, to compare them with the lot of others, in appearance more fortunate; while we lose sight of our neighbours' great misery, with which our own comparative comfort ought properly to be contrasted.
"But these are trite truths, as old as the days of Solomon, and which are perhaps misplaced in the common place diary of a plodding Indian trader.
""But who among mortals is always wise?" Wherefore I will avail myself of my plea; and like sager men urge it, for sometimes playing the fool upon paper.
"T'is a glorious privilege to be able to write nonsense now & then, when there is no censor of the press, or rather of the pen, to check one -- Enough! A good fire, a warm house, & divers acceptable concomitants, with a foot of snow around one, are circumstances that may well occasion a momentary glimpse of contentment in a mind not always swayed by cheerful emotions."

Alexander Caulfield Anderson, October 25, 1844, written after the first severe snowfall of the winter.
Source: Fort Alexandria Journal, 1843-1845, B.5/a/6, fo. 13, HBCA.
"Pippins and cheese to come," is from William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Sir Hugh refers to the character Sir Hugh Evans, a Welsh parson.

"Fort Okanagan"

As I told you last week, I discovered a number of photographs in the British Columbia archives, mislabelled "Fort Okanagan."
I thought that I might have found Eric Sismey's lost photographs, but I have not.
The image listed under G-05822 is the negative for photo listed under A-013033 (you can view the second photo online, by the way).
The other two are more interesting, especially to American historians.

The first, I-83628, is a "group photo with the image of a flag on the site of the original Fort Okanagan" -- note Canadian spelling.
On the front of the cardboard that surrounds the photo is written: "Return this photo to T.C. Elliott, Walla Walla, WA."
On the reverse it says: "Photo at the gathering on the site of old Fort Okanagan in 1911 to commemorate the establishment of the post called Fort Okanagan established by the Astor Co. in 1811. This photo is taken of the exercises held on the site of the later Fort Okanagan, the post built by the N.W. Co. and afterward maintained till 1860 by the H.B.Co."
On bottom are notes which indicate that this photo was published in some magazine article (I assume) many years ago:
"Get flags in -- 3858 -- 3 col. -- strike pause -- Sunday-Bell."
If you want to get a copy of this photo, contact BC Archives and quote both the call number, I-83628, and catalogue number HP040762.

The second photo bears call number I-83627, Catalogue number HP040761.
This is a photo of a group of men clustered around a tall flagpole bearing a U.S. Flag.
The note reads: "Set in type, Fort Okanogan Picture No. 2.
"On the site of the old Astor post established by the Pacific Fur Co. in September 1811. The old fort called Fort Okanagan existed on this site for about 5 years and was then re-built about a mile away. This photograph represents the centennial celebration held there in 1911."
In brackets at the bottom: "Return to T.C. Elliott, Walla Walla, WA."

(If anyone who reads this happens to know when and where these photographs were published, can you please put a comment on the blog that tells other researchers where to look. Thank you.)

I know who T.C. Elliott is, but apparently the B.C. Archives does not.
T.C. Elliott is the first historian who identified which man might have been the anonymous "Beaulieu" who was Charlot Birnie's father, and Betsy Birnie's grandfather.
When I get to Fort Colvile and Spokane House area (only a few miles away) I will tell you the story of this most interesting man.
But I have to say, while we are confident we have identified who he is, there is plenty that we do not know, and we will be asking for your help in continuing this search.
We have a number of secondary sources that identify this man, but would a historian actually agree with our conclusions?
I think he would argue that we have not proven he is our ancestor.
But I think we are right in our conclusions, even if we cannot prove it.
If you are a fur trade historian with information that would help us, I would like to hear from you.
But wait for the story.....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fort Okanogan

Thank you to the people who sent me old photographs of Fort Okanogan.
The first I received was an engraving called, "Engraving of Fort Okanogan by John Mix Stanley, 1853-54, U.S. War Dept., Reports of Explorations & Surveys to Ascertain the Practicable & Economical Route for a Railroad..."
You will find the image embedded in an article on www.history.link.org, written by the David Thompson biographer and his wife, Jack and Clare Nisbet.
John Mix Stanley was one of the most accomplished Western artists of the nineteenth century, in spite of the fact that so much of his finished work was destroyed by fire.
Born in New York in 1814, he came to Oregon in 1853 and was expeditionary artist with territorial governor Isaac Stevens' survey of a northern transcontinental railroad route to the Pacific coast.
Whilst in the area around Fort Vancouver he painted a portrait of Peter Skene Ogden, a copy of which is in the B.C. Archives.
In this portrait, Ogden looks like the rough, tough, and aging gentleman-fur trader he was at that time.
It's a good image of the man.

The second came from the B.C. Archives and is labelled "Fort Okanagan," which is why I did not find it in a quick search.
Anyone who wants to see this photo can go to the B.C. Archives website, and in the search page enter either "Fort Okanagan" (watch the spelling), or put in its number -- A-01033.
Remember to check Photographs at the left of the search page or you'll get nowhere.

At the same time I checked this, I discovered that there are three other images of Fort Okanagan at the B.C. Archives.
Their digital images are not on display, but I can go to the archives and ask to see the pictures.
One seems to be an old image with undetermined artist and date.
But the third and fourth are photographs taken about 1911, of the site of the original Fort Okanagan.
I might have accidently found Eric Sismey's missing photographs in the B.C. Archives!

As I have said, I am slowing down on this blog for a little while.
I have a tremendous amount of work to do on the other project -- that is, the book.
I have hinted before that it will be published in Fall 2011.
Now I have received the signed contract and it suddenly becomes very real.
Let me list for you the work I have to do.
It's really interesting....

Immediately: Re-read and edit the manuscript and merge it into one document with all appendixes and additions (do I have to write a forward or introduction?), cutting the manuscript to about 70,000 words -- the ideal length.

Next, and almost immediately: Decide on illustrations I want in the book, photograph them or obtain digital copies, Place the illustrations where I want them in the manuscript and write their captions.
Then I put all illustrations onto a CD labelling them very clearly so the publisher can place them accurately in the manuscript without making expensive errors, and submit both 2nd copy of manuscript and CD to publisher.

Within two months: Get a professional photograph that the publisher can use for marketing the upcoming book.
Complete author biography, answering tons of questions including suggesting book prizes I feel the book would be eligible for (all of them), book events in which I can market the book, and historical or other societies where I can later give presentations.
I have to speak to bookstore owners to let them know about the upcoming book.
As historical societies book their speakers up to a year ahead of time, I am contacting those societies I can easily reach to let them know a book of interest to their members will be available next year.
I will also be submitting articles to Pacific Northwest history publications, to raise interest amongst their readers in Anderson's story.

The publisher will edit the book and decide how many photographs they can use; then it is up to the author to apply and pay for copyright on archival photographs and to get written permission from those who have loaned photographs from their private collections.
B.C. Archives charges $25.00 for each image used, and more for the cover portrait -- but they will negotiate on price.
As many of my illustrations come from Anderson's 1867 Map of British Columbia, which archives staff have told me is tremendously important to British Columbia residents (who cannot see the map because it is hidden in the depths of the archives stacks), I hope they will negotiate a reasonable price to allow our citizens to see portions of the map.

Eventually I will have to index the book, and I assume that I will do that to the publisher-edited copy.
I will also have to read the edited manuscript to catch any errors they have made in editing -- ie. putting a modern or Canadian spelling on words like Colvile or Okanogan/Okanagan, or something like that.
This will also be the last chance for me to catch my own errors before publishing.
Of course I will make errors, and someone will contact me to correct those errors.

I will have to suggest people who will read early copies of the book and give cover quotes -- that is, I hope, not a problem as I have worked with a few historians in this project.
I just hope these important people have time to take out of their busy schedules to read the book.
I will have to approach the best news media persons to promote the book -- my sister learned in promoting our mother's book that if you promote yourself in a minor newspaper before approaching a major one, the latter will not be interested in promoting your book.
Finally, I will have to learn power point, and learn how to create good presentations.
These are the things I know I have to do; I wonder what else I will be learning how to do through these next exciting years?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fort Okanogan



We are back at Fort Okanogan for a little bit -- I have discovered some new information and want to delve into it a little further, to see if anyone who reads this has information to share with me.
I have been looking for a photograph of the place where Fort Okanogan stood -- I knew I had it, but I have been unable to locate it.
I found it today -- by accident -- in a newspaper article printed in the Daily Colonist (our Victoria newspaper) on Sunday, March 7, 1976.
The article begins with a photograph of the Okanogan River where it mingles with the Columbia, and the caption says that the old fort was at the top of the hill to the right.
The photograph won't reproduce, of course, and I can't reproduce it without infringing on copyright, but I have drawn a rough outline of the photograph and put it at the top of the page.
By the way, those high "hilltops" are clouds -- not mountains. This is not a mountainous country.
I think we are looking up the Okanagan/Okanogan river toward Osoyoos Lake, and the two branches of the Columbia lead off to the right and the bottom of the drawing.
Is this statement correct?
Now I need to find the original photograph, hopefully in an archives somewhere.

The author of the article, called "Fort Okanogan: Where the Fur Brigade Train began," is Eric Sismey.
Apparently Mr. Sismey was born in Halifax but educated in England, Tasmania, and New Zealand.
He returned to Canada in 1911 but spent his working life in California.
It was not until he retired that he returned to British Columbia and followed up on his apparently strong interest in natural history and Okanagan history.
He belonged to the Sierra Club and numerous other Okanagan clubs, and for a few years (1971-3) was editor of the Okanagan Historical Society Journals.
And he had a large collection of photographs of the area around Fort Okanogan, taken both before and after the water behind the Wells Dam on the Columbia River drowned the location of the fort.
Where are his photographs?

His papers and articles are collected in the Penticton (R.N.Atkinson) Museum and Archives, Penticton, B.C., but I don't think his photographs are there.
I don't think they are in the BC Archives (but haven't really looked yet).
These photos would be of great interest to fur trade historians, especially those in the United States.
If anyone knows where they are, please share this information with us.

Mr. Sismey begins his "Fort Okanogan" article with the phrase: "When the water behind Wells Dam on the Columbia River, a dozen or so miles south of Brewster, WA., on Highway 97, rose to spillway level, it drowned for all time an intimate chapter of British Columbia history."
I believe that in an earlier posting I put Fort Okanogan behind the wrong dam, and hope this corrects that mis-statement.
He continues, "The word 'intimate' is used intentionally. While the site of old Fort Okanogan is now in United States, it was from 1812 to 1846, in a country dominated by British interests, first by the North West Company and then by Hudson's Bay.
"...the Fur Brigade trail stretched 491 miles through the Okanogan, along the west side of Okanagan Lake, to Kamloops, to Fort Alexandria.
"At Fort Alexandria a water trail began and it was still another 236 miles to Fort St. James.
"Returning fur Brigades collected the furs from all New Caledonia [and] carried them to Fort Okanogan where they were boated 433 miles down river to Fort Vancouver."

David Thompson was "the first white man to gaze along the wide river on a brilliant summer day in July 1811.
"He learned the river flowing from the north to join the Columbia was named Okanogan and where the waters mingled was St'lakam."

The American fur trader David Stuart followed David Thompson upriver from Astoria, with instructions to examine the country with a view to finding a location suitable for a trading post.
"Allowing Thompson to hurry Stuart travelled slowly until he reached a broad treeless plain which he described as follows: "The plain was rich in tall grass, the landscape open to the southeast but closed with pine toward the north.
""It was fragrant with flowers and musical with birds: and through it, down from the north, came a clear cold stream which natives called the Okanogan which mingled its waters with the Columbia."
"It was here that Stuart decided to build his fort," Sismey wrote.

The historian Bancroft said that "Few spots in the northwest could have been more favorable for the location of a factory."
It had a warm climate, friendly Natives with many horses, fish and game, and natural highways that led in all directions.
Drift timber caught in the bend of the river allowed Stuart to build his fort at the top of an easily defended sandy bluff.

When Governor Simpson arrived at Fort Okanogan in 1841, he found that because of the sterile soil that surrounded the post the farm was located a few miles distant.
Does the point of land on which this post stands have sandy soil?
Eric Sismey says the farm was located "close to where Father de Rouge built a mission and where some 300 Indians lived in 1888."
In the Okanogan tongue, this place was called Ellisforde-Schalkees.
Does anyone know where that place is?

Just so you know: I am slowing down a little bit on this blog because I have so much work to do to get this manuscript ready for publishing.
Please be patient with me -- I will keep in touch.
This is an unofficial announcement -- The book will be published in Fall, 2011, if I can get the work done in time.
The working title is: "A Fish out of Water; Alexander Caulfield Anderson's Journey through British Columbia's history."
But in the year before it is published, its name might change.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Grande Coulee



I am going to play around with the Grand Coulee for a while, discovering its exact location and learning the various fur traders' views of this spectacular place.
The outgoing brigade of 1840 would not pass through this gully; instead they loaded their furs into the Fort Okanogan boats and travelled downriver to Fort Vancouver.
But on their return journey, the gentlemen left the boats at Fort Nez Perce (Walla Walla), and attended the horse races at the Native village outside the post.
A horse cost a blanket, and as there was always a shortage of brigade horses in New Caledonia, the gentleman-in-charge traded for as many animals as he could afford.
Then, while the voyageurs worked their way upriver in the boats, the gentlemen herded the unbroken horses up the east bank of the Columbia River.
The horse trail between Fort Nez Perce and Fort Okanogan passed Priest's Rapids and entered red-rocked Grande Coulee, "an extraordinary ravine, the origin of which has been a matter of much speculation..." Anderson wrote.
"The bottom of this ravine is very smooth, and affords excellent traveling; good encampments are found at regular intervals.
"After following it for about sixty miles, the trail strokes off for the Columbia, at a point a few miles beyond a small lake, called by the voyageurs, Le Lac a L'Eau Bleue."
Anderson notes that "It is necessary to encamp at this lake.
"There is a small stream twenty-five miles or so before reaching the lake, which is another regular encampment; and again another streamlet about thirty miles short of that last mentioned, where it would likewise be necessary to encamp.
"This would be the first encampment in the Grande Coulee after leaving the Columbia..I cannot recall any encamping grounds, other than these three, in this portion of the road."
Anderson travelled through this coulee at least twice, so his description as given in his published book, "Handbook and Map to the Gold Region of Frazer's and Thompson's River," is important -- Grande Coulee now lies under the water of the massive Franklin Delano Roosevelt Lake, constructed between 1933-1942.
Or so I thought -- read on.

This is what "Frommer's Guide to Washington State" says about modern-day Grand Coulee dam area:
"Grand Coulee, formerly a wide, dry valley, is a geological anomaly left over from the last Ice Age.
"At that time, a glacier dammed an upstream tributary of the Columbia River and formed a huge lake in what is today Montana.
"When this prehistoric lake burst through its ice dam, massive floods poured down from the Rocky Mountains.
"So great was the volume of water that the Columbia River overflowed its normal channel and, as these flood waters flowed southward, they carved deep valleys into the basalt landscape of central Washington.
"As the floodwaters reached the Cascade Range, they were forced together into one great torrent that was so powerful it scoured out the Columbia gorge, carving cliffs and leaving us with today's beautiful waterfalls.
"With the end of the Ice Age, however, the Columbia returned to its original channel and the temporary flood channels were left high and dry.
"Early French explorers called these dry channels coulees, and the largest of them all was Grand Coulee, which is 50 miles long, between 2 miles and 5 miles wide, and 1,000 feet deep."

BUT, the tourist guide goes on to say:
"Located at the northern end of the Grand Coulee, Grand Coulee Dam is considered one of the greatest engineering marvels of the 20th century...
"Despite its name, the Grand Coulee Dam did not, however, fill the Grand Coulee with water.
"That did not happen until the 1950s when Dry Falls Dam was built at the south end of the coulee and waters from Roosevelt Lake were used to fill the Grand Coulee and form 31-mile-long Banks Lake."
And that explains (to me, at least) how the waters behind the Grand Coulee dam run up the basin of the Columbia River, but the fur traders' maps put the Grand Coulee itself some distance from the banks of the Columbia.

As stated above, the fur traders left the Columbia River at Priest's Rapids, and travelled overland to enter the Grand Coulee and follow it north.
This coulee cannot have been a sort of "tunnel" or canyon that led the fur traders north from one end to the other -- the southern portion of the coulee at least must have had breaks in the walls that allowed horsemen to take various routes up and down portions of the trail.

The above map is copied from a map I have in my possession, a copy of which is found in the British Columbia Archives, no. CM/13696C.
It is the Map of Oregon & Upper California, 1848, from the surveys of John Charles Fremont and other authorities; drawn by Charles Preuss and lithograhed by E. Weber & Co., Baltimore.
My notes say it was published by Samuel Augustus Mitchell in Philadelphia in 1848, but that is not mentioned on the map so I might be in error.
This spectacular black and white map shows the Grand Coulee running northeast from the banks of the Columbia River at Buckland Rapids, somewhere north of Priest's rapids.
The coulee cuts off one of the big bends of the Columbia River and again reaches the banks of the river some miles east of Fort Okanogan.
A photograph in William Layman's book, "River of Memory; the Everlasting Columbia," shows that the coulee did, in fact, reach the banks of the Columbia River.
If you obtain the book, see the photograph on page 74 -- it was taken by Asahel Curtis about 1930, and is storied in the Washington State Historical Society Archives under number 34632.
I assume this is the lower end of the coulee (at Buckland Rapids), but the author does not say.

This book has another photograph of the Grand Coulee, taken by the same photographer about the same time. (Photograph also stored at WSHS, No. 34610.)
It is on page 75 of Layman's book, "River of Memory," and shows the straight sided walls of the coulee and its flat, wide floor.
The author tells us that the coulee is 596 miles from the Pacific Ocean, and 647 miles from the river's source in British Columbia.
I recommend this book to people who want to see what the Columbia River used to look like; I purchased it a few years ago in Spokane, but have since found it in British Columbia book stores.
Our fur trade ancestors all travelled the Columbia River at some point in their careers.
But little of the river remains the way it was when our ancestors travelled it.
This collection of photographs might be the only resource we have when we need to describe the river our ancestors travelled.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A short history of Fort Okanogan

In his article, "Fur Trade Forts in Washington," (Washington Historical Quarterly, now Pacific Northwest Quarterly), historian O.B. Sperlin tells us that "during the same summer of 1811 a small party under David Stuart built Okanogan Post, the third establishment in Washington."
The first post in modern day Washington State was Spokane House, built in early 1811 by the men employed by the North West Company's explorer David Thompson.
The second post was was Fort George (Astoria), at the mouth of the Columbia River by the Pacific Fur Company in summer 1811.
The above David Stuart was an employee of the Pacific Fur Company, and he pushed upriver as far as the Northwesters' Spokane House.
He then returned downriver to establish the third establishment in modern day Washington State, called Okanogan Post.
This post was on the southeast bank of the Okanogan River one-half a mile from its junction with the Columbia, and consisted of a small (16x20 feet) dwelling, and storage.
Over the next three years, more buildings were added to this site.
Clerk Alexander Ross spent the winter of 1811-12 alone at the Okanogan post trading for some "1,550 beavers, besides other peltries, worth in the Canton market, 2,250 pounds sterling."

When summer of 1812 came, the Pacific Fur Company men built a new fort on the Spokane River close to David Thompson's house.
Then the War of 1812 caused the Americans to worry for their safety in this territory, and they decided to abandon their posts.
In spite of that, it was not until November 1813 that the Northwesters' took over the Pacific Fur Company forts in Washington Territory (and according to this article, the Americans of the Pacific Fur Company forced the Northwesters to take over their forts by gunpoint!)

To continue Fort Okanogan's story: So in November 1813, the men of the North West Company took over the fur trade and buildings of Fort Okanogan.
The first improvement the Northwesters' made was the rebuilding of Fort Okanogan post under Ross Cox in 1816.
The location of the new post was one and a half mile southeast of the old fort, across the peninsula and on the banks of the main stream of the Columbia.
By September 1816, Cox had completed a new dwelling, two houses for his men, and a large storehouse for furs and trading goods.
These houses were for the most part built of timber, but some buildings used adobe mud.
The buildings were surrounded by palisades fifteen feet high and the two bastions on opposite corners had light four-pounders (large gun or cannon) and loopholes for musketry.

From Jean Webber's article in Okanagan History, 1993, "Fur Trading Posts in the Okanagan and Similkameen," we have the following information:
Fort Okanogan was established in 1811 by David Stuart and Alexander Ross of the American Pacific fur Company.
The post was situated on the Okanogan River one half mile upstream from the river's confluence with the Columbia.
When the War of 1812 broke out, the North West Company took advantage of the situation to persuade the Americans at Fort Astoria (Fort George) to sell out its interests.
In 1816, the Northwesters' replaced the original buildings with a stockaded group of well constructed buildings.
She quotes from Ross Cox's book, "The Adventures on the Columbia:"
"By the month of September, we had erected a new dwelling house for the person in charge, containing four excellent rooms and a large dining hall, two good houses for the men and a spacious store for the furs and merchandise, to which was attached a shop for trading with the natives.
"The whole was surrounded by strong palisades fifteen feet high and flanked by two bastions.
"Each bastion had in its lower story a light brass four-pounder, and in the upper story loop-holes were left for the use of musketry."

From 1812 onwards, the Northwesters in the Thompson's River at Kamloops brought their furs on pack animals down the Okanagan valley and River, to Fort Okanogan.
At Fort Okanogan the furs were loaded onto boats or bateaux for the trip downriver to Fort George (Astoria), their headquarters at the mouth of the Columbia River.

If you are interested in finding out how Fort Okanogan (the earlier fort, I assume) might have been laid out, Jean Webber's article has a drawing of the post based on information gained from the archaelogical digs.
For Americans, this information is also found at the Okanogan County Museum.
Jean Webber goes on to tell us that after 1821, Fort Okanagan was relocated on the bank of the Columbia River, several miles to the south-east of the original post.
This fort was located at the "upper crossing" of the Columbia -- a crossing that could be used when the river waters were high.
The lower crossing downriver was used for swimming animals across the Columbia, or for pack trails or cattle drives.
The Fort Okanogan Interpretive Centre near Brewster, Washington, also has an old map of the fort.
It shows the latter Fort Okanogan sitting on the point of land between the Columbia River which flows in from the northwest, and the Okanogan River flowing in from the west.
Northwest of the fort is a range of hills running across the entire peninsula, labelled "Rocks and Hills," with the information there are rattlesnakes north of the hills.
Across the rivers (the Okanogan and the Columbia) from the fort, the map tells us there are Plains that contain Rattlesnakes.
But the point of land on which the fort stands -- called in this map, "Oakinagan Point," is "All Prairie ground and no Rattlesnakes."
Note the various spellings of Okanagan -- Canadians use Okanagan, Americans Okinogan, and the fur traders have many different spellings.
As I have said before, Alexander Caulfield Anderson always used "Okinagan," and he pronounced the word "O-kee-na-gan."

As you have seen from the above-mentioned map, this is Rattlesnake Country.
James, Alexander Anderson's son, had a few rattlesnakes stories, one of which I have already told you.
This second one has nothing really to do with Fort Okanogan, but it is definitely a rattlesnake story.
Mr. E. Bullock Webster, who had a ranch at Keremeos [in B.C. northwest of Fort Okanogan] in 1901, told this story to a mature James Anderson:
"He explained that during the dormant season the scorpions shared the dens of rattlesnakes, and in the springtime when the sun began to attain power, the snakes come out to the mouths of their dens in horrid coiling masses, the scorpions running over them and on apparently quite friendly terms.
"Mr. Webster described several of these dens in the rocky defiles of the mountains of Similkameen very graphically.
"One, which from all accounts received from Indians, seems to be the headquarters of the rattlesnakes in the vicinity, is situated in an ideal inferno, a wei[r]d defile that would have appealed to the imagination of Dore.
"It appears that Indians from superstitious motives do not kill snakes and from the same motives do not go near their dens.
"Mr. Webster, however, induced an old Indian to conduct him to the vicinity of the great den, which he did, but would not go nearer than about two hundred yards...
"Mr. Webster entered the horrid place alone.
"He said it was indescribably weird, the entrance to the den proper being partly stopped up with bunch grass, apparently carried there by the snakes presumably for protection against the cold.
"It was too late in the season, however, the snakes having all left for summer quarters and all that was to be seen were some skins that had been shed and a dead snake...."

I don't know about the scorpions mentioned in this story -- but it appears that Natives and fur traders alike had a dread of snakes, especially rattlesnakes.
I have a few rattlesnake stories to tell you when I get to Fort Colvile.
I think that Natives everywhere had a sense of humor and enjoyed startling or worrying the fur traders.
Certainly young James Anderson was startled!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Okanogan River Brigade Trail


With the help of three old maps and some articles published many years ago in the areas' historical journals, I have put together a rough map of this short section of brigade trail.
Modern day Washington state names appear on the left side of the page, in their approximate locations.
Oroville stands on the east side of the river below Osoyoos Lake; Horseshoe Lake is on the west side of the river.
Siwash Creek appears to be the modern name of the Upper or 2nd Bonaparte River, but I cannot discover the name of the Lower or 1st Bonaparte River from the poor quality maps I have on hand -- it might still be Bonaparte Creek.
Tonasket appears to sit between the mouths of the two Bonaparte Rivers, and the southernmost river might flow down from the benchlands behind the town.
Today's McLoughlin Canyon Road runs up the gulch the fur traders knew as McLoughlin's Canyon -- some names have not changed.
McLoughlin's Canyon was named for Chief Factor John McLoughlin of Fort Vancouver, of course.
The fur traders' Rat Lake is still unnamed; it will be some anonymous little pond close to the river bank, south of McLoughlin Canyon; it does not appear to be Omak Lake.
I think I have said that Omak Lake is southeast of the towns of Okanogan and Omak; possibly it lies on Riviere a la Grise -- which would make that river Omak River or Creek.
The "Dalles" (Box Canyon) southeast of Fort Okanogan appears to lie under Franklin Roosevelt Lake, which was formed by the massive Grand Coulee dam.
I won't really know the exact locations and names of these places until I get a good quality Washington State Land and Forests map.

The book, "River of Memory; the Everlasting Columbia," by William D. Layman, contains a good 1960 black and white photograph "At the Confluence of the Okanogan and Columbia Rivers," p. 69.
The author also tells us that the Okanogan River junction is 534 miles from the Pacific ocean, and 709 miles from the source of the Columbia River in British Columbia.

The book, "Northwest Passage; the Great Columbia River," by William Dietrich, contains some more interesting stories of the Grand Coulee dam, on the Columbia River near old Fort Okanogan.
Folksinger Woody Guthrie was a part of this story.
The building of the Grand Coulee dam was more or less comlete, but support for the building of the irrigation dams along the Columbia River Basin had evaporated.
"The Columbia is certainly a wonderful river," someone said -- "It waters four states and drains forty-eight!"
At the time that Woody Guthrie was brought to view the Grand Coulee Dam, he had not yet written the songs that would make him famous -- "This Land is your Land," and "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You."
It was April, 1941, and he was broke and living in his car with his wife and three children.
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) had made a film extolling the virtues of their Hydro projects -- they wanted a folksinger to sing songs that would appeal to the common man.
In the next thirty days,Guthrie drove up and down the Columbia River and wrote twenty six songs, including some of his most famous.
These included, "Roll on Columbia," "Grand Coulee Dam," "Way up in the Northwest," and "Pastures of Plenty" -- some of the most popular songs in the Pacific Northwest.
Guthrie saw that the damns provided jobs for labourers; generators provided power that would allow farmwives to work with electricity rather than kerosene light; and water so that the farmer could irrigate his crops.
His marriage broke up and his car was repossessed, but this was one of the most productive periods of Woody Guthrie's song-writing career.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More on the old Okanogan Brigade Trail


The map above shows the information I have taken from Alexander Caulfield Anderson's 1867 map of British Columbia, which shows Fort Okanogan and the brigade trail leading northward up the Okanogan River.
As you can see, in this illustration the trail does follow the river bank quite closely.
The first information I posted on this piece of the brigade trail came from Anderson's 1858 map, drawn to guide the San Francisco gold miners north to the Fraser River goldfields.
The map was included in Anderson's book, Handbook and Map to the Gold Region of Frazer's and Thompson's Rivers (San Francisco, 1858).
But it was also printed separately and sold to gold miners who wanted to find their way north to the Fraser River gold fields.
The information on the map was taken from Anderson's maps, but I believe that Anderson did not draw this map.
The map was drawn from Anderson's information, by someone who had considerable art skills.
Either the publisher supplied an artist, or Anderson's brother-in-law, William Henry Tappan, drew that map.

The best information on the old Okanogan Trail comes from Judge William Brown's article, "Old Fort Okanogan and the Okanogan Trail," published in the Oregon Historical Society Journal in March 1914.
"A most interesting witness for the company is Mr. Alexander Caulfield Anderson, who had been in charge of the post for a number of years in the late forties and early fifties as a dependency of Colvile," he writes.
"He described the buildings in detail and testified to the value of the whole establishment.
"Among other things he said the stretch of country used for a horse range was in the shape of a triangle, each side of which was about 25 or 30 miles long.
"That it was bounded as follows, commencing at the mouth of the Okanogan River, thence up the Columbia to the Dalles (Box Canyon of the present time), thence along the range of hills to the "montee" on the Okanogan river, thence down the Okanogan to the mouth.
"Now where was the montee?" Brown asked. "No one now living knows as far as can be learned."
As you can see, Anderson's map shows where the montee was.

Do you know what a montee is?
As far as I know, it is a place where the fur traders mount their horses -- sometimes they continued their journey on horseback, and sometimes they did not.
When Anderson left Lachine House (Montreal) in 1832, travelling west to the Columbia district, he joined the Saskatchewan boats at Norway House on June 27th.
He travelled downriver to York Factory and returned with the Saskatchewan boats to Norway House in early August.
The Saskatchewan boats crossed the top of Lake Winnipeg in a heavy rainstorm, taking much risk in making this crossing according to later reports.
They passed through Cumberland House (near Prince Albert, Sask.), and reached Carlton House in early September.
Carlton House was on the North Saskatchewn River near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Upriver from Carlton House they reached the place the fur traders called "La Montee," where the gentlemen left the slow-moving boats in the hands of the voyageurs, and mounted Carlton House horses to hunt the buffalo that roamed in vast numbers over these plains.
Anderson had purchased the best gun he could afford when he entered the fur trade, and here he had the pleasure of shooting a buffalo!

For a few days the gentlemen returned every night to the voyageurs' camp on the river bank, keeping the men supplied with fresh meat from their hunt.
But when they came closer to Edmonton House, the senior gentlemen rode their horses straight across the plains to the fort, leaving the lowly apprentice-clerks behind with the slow-moving boats.

Judge Brown has more information in regard to the brigade trail, taken from the article mentioned above:
"Okanogan Point is the big flat of land at the junction of the Okanogan and Columbia; Ft. Okanogan stood there a long time.
"Okanogan Forks was the junction of the Similkameen and the Okanogan, where Oroville now stands...
"The course of the old Okanogan Trail was up the east side of the river.
"It started at the old fort and kept down along the river all the way till the points of rocks at McLoughlin's Canyon was reached.
"Then the trail climbed up into the gorge known as McLoughlin's canyon, passed through the same and came out on the benches beyond and reached the river bottom again just below the mouth of Bonaparte Creek, near where the town of Tonasket is now.
"Up till about six or eight years ago the old trail was as plain as ever in many places."
It sounds as if the trail disappeared about one hundred years ago.

In his Guide to the Goldfields, published in San Francisco in 1858, Anderson has more information about the old trail.
Remember, he is guiding gold miners north from Grand Coulee to the old Okanogan brigade trail.
"...the trail strikes the Columbia a few miles from the Grand Coulee.
"Ferrying at the fort [Okinagan] (the horse being swum), the trail ascends the Okinagan River, cutting points here and there, as shown in the sketch."
His estimate of distances gives us a bit more information:
"From the Okinagan to Forks of Similk-a-meen: 60 miles."

His "Estimate of March from the Priests' Rapids Crossing to the Forks of Thompson's River," includes this information -- on their sixth day they would reach Fort Okinagan:
On the 7th day, Riviere a la Grise, or Rat Lake;
On the 8th, Upper Bonaparte's River;
On the 9th, Forks of Similk-a-meen.

"It may be noted here that, throughout the distance, there are no obstacles to an easy march, beyond those that I have endeavoured to note.
"Pasture and water are plentiful, and fuel, for the greater part of the distance, likewise abounds.
"Along the Columbia, the country is bare of timber; elsewhere the valleys are clear, the hills sparsely timbered with the Colvile Red Pine (pinus ponderosa)."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sam Black's map of the Okanogan Brigade Trail south of the 49th parallel


Above I have shown another version of the Okanogan brigade trail south of Osoyoos Lake, leading down the east side of the Okanogan River to the post at the junction of the river with the Columbia.
In this map the brigade trail appears to follow the river's edge much more closely than in Anderson's map.
Vaseaux Lake is at the top, and Osoyoos Lake just south of that.
The word "Barriere" at the bottom of Osoyoos Lake, close to the mouth of the Similkameen River, indicates the presence of a traditional Native fishing weir called by the French-Canadians and fur traders alike a "barriere."
In his 1858 book, Handbook and Map to the Gold Region of Frazer's and Thompson's River, Anderson noted that it was "good policy to supply the chiefs with a little tobacco, to smoke with his followers.
"Good will is thus cheaply secured."

The Canadian Okanagan River was once a beautiful wild salmon stream, with thousands of fish returning every year to spawn in its winding stream and natural gravel beds.
Natives came from miles around to spear salmon in Okanagan Falls, at the south end of modern day Skaha Lake (the fur traders' Dog Lake).
But since the 1920's, the Canadian Okanagan River has been channelled into a system of dams and canals for irrigation purposes.
The Okanagan River Falls were silenced, the river rapids were flooded, and the Native fisheries that existed above McIntyre Bluff died.
South of Vaseaux Lake, the McIntyre dam blocked returning salmon and forced them to spawn in the stream's natural gravel beds near Oliver, B.C.
But these were tough, adaptable fish, and the few thousand salmon who swam the thousand miles from the Pacific Ocean to spawn in this river fought their way up fish ladders built into the nine hydroelectric dams that blocked the Columbia.
Because of these massive dams many other Columbia River salmon runs died, but the salmon who spawned in the Canadian Okanagan River always returned, though in ever declining numbers.
A few years ago Native leaders of the Okanagan tribes worked with the Federal Fisheries Department and the British Columbia Ministry responsible for the river, and raised one million salmon hatchlings for release in the Okanagan River upstream from the McIntyre Dam.
The fish will swim downriver for the Pacific Ocean and return in four years time.
At the end of these four years, these men hope to have a fish passageway constructed where the McIntyre dam blocks the river, to allow the salmon to return and spawn in the upper Okanagan River and Skaha Lake.
The Native men and government officials are also studying the lower part of the river, hoping to move the dikes and allow the river to wander across its natural valley, as it used to do.
It's an exciting project, and when the Okanagan Natives sing to their salmon from the river banks, other people now join them in their celebration.

With thanks to columnist Mark Hume for this story.
It was published in the Globe and Mail newspaper under the title "B.C.'s miracle of the Fishes," Tuesday, May 24, 2005.

As we continue downriver we notice that the trail on this map appears to follow the east banks of the American Okanogan River more closely than shown in Anderson's map.
I also need to clarify something I said on my earlier posting:
It was not Anderson who said that the fur traders passed by Horsehoe Lake and Omak Lake.
These are not old names, but modern names (I think).
But there is probably a good reason for there not being good records of the travels south of Osoyoos Lake -- the gentlemen who led out the brigades rode ahead of their men down the trail and waited for their arrival at Fort Okanogan.
At least in Peter Warren Dease's journal of the Brigade from New Caledonia to Fort Vancouver, 1831, that appears to be the case:
"Got to the narrows of Little Lake Okanagan [Osoyoos Lake] where we found Indians who lent us Canoes to cross the Baggage....
"The travelling from this to the Columbia being fine without any dangerous places, with a view of having Every thing prepared at Okanagan for Embarkation -- I left the Brigade in Charge of Gregoire and with Lolo proceeded to the Fort where I arrived at 2 P.M. and had the pleasure of finding C.T. Black with Mr. Kittson and the Brigade from Upper Posts...."
His own brigade arrived the next day so the journey south from Osoyoos Lake took only one day, and there was only one night's campsite.
Likely this campsite was made at Rat Lake, as this place is especially noted on both maps drawn by the fur traders Anderson and Black.
(The above quotes came from James R. Gibson's Lifeline of the Oregon Country; the Fraser-Columbia Brigade System, 1811-47, published by UBC Press a few years ago -- and the above mentioned Peter Warren Dease was the brother of the John Warren Dease mentioned in my last posting, according to Anderson).
On their return journey the brigade went a short distance from Fort Okanogan and camped because of an accident, and made their second camp on the northernmost Bonaparte River.

Aha! In another journal in this same book (Lifeline of the Oregon Country) I found confirmation that the gentlemen tended to ride ahead of the brigades to Fort Okanogan.
In William Connolly's Journal of 1826, the horses "were allowed to rest at the Little Okanagan Lake [Osoyoos Lake], from whence we proceeded in the afternoon to the Bariere, or entrance of Okanagan river, where we encamped after having crossed the property & horses to the opposite shore...... No danger either by accident, or otherwise, being to be apprehended between this & Okanagan, I left the Brigaede in charge of Messrs. [James] Douglas & Pambrun, and with one Man proceeded for that place where, after a pretty hard ride, I arrived at five o'clock PM..."
On his return journey, Connolly wrote, "This morning I left Okanagan & overtook the brigade at seven oclock -- Mr. Douglas who encamped with it last night was going on as well as could be expected .... After proceeding a distance of about 21 Miles we Encamped near the River de la Guere."
The next day, "at an early hour the Horses were caught & loaded without much trouble, and few of them seemed inclined to repeat the pranks of the two preceding days.... We made today about 22 miles [but no information on camping place.]
The following day, "At four o'clock AM .. we proceeded from our encampment -- passed two Rivulets one of which is distinguished by the name of Bonaparte -- and at eleven reached the Bariere, or entrance of the Okanagan river, which we crossed by means of Canoes we hired from a small party of Indians we found here."

None of these maps tells me where Riviere de la Guere is.
In my French dictionary, the word "guere" translates as "not much," so it is possibly a creek.
By the way, Riviere Grise appears to translate as Grey River, but we might also apply another translation to it -- the verb griser means "to intoxicate."
Is that where the gentlemen handed out the traditional regale, or pint of rum, on the first night of travel?
It was also a tradition that when a brigade left a post they travelled only a short distance before camping, so that if something was discovered missing a man could return to the post to pick it up.
That might explain why their first camp appears to be so close to Fort Okanogan, if their first camp is R.Grise.

But I have wandered away from clarifying my information about Horseshoe and Omak Lake, as mentioned in my last posting.
I believe these are modern names, not names from the fur trade.
The names of the lakes came from a "Table of Distances Between Camps Fort Okanogan, Washington to Alexandria, British Columbia (mileages according to Chief Trader A.C. Anderson), contained in the book about the Okanagan brigade trails, written by Harley R. Hatfield and friends.
In this tables they suggest that the trail was as follows:
From Fort Okanogan to Omak? [their question mark] = 24 miles;
From Omak to Tonasket? (lower Bonaparte R) = 24 miles;
From Tonasket or lower Bonaparte River to Horseshoe Lake? = 25 miles.
Again the question mark after Horseshoe Lake is theirs.
These men tramped all over the Canadian Okanagan in search of the trail, but I don't believe they went south of the border to discover the American section of the trail.
I think they perused the maps they had available -- the same maps I have shown in this blog -- and guessed at the places where the American section of the trail would have been.

After my last week's posting Ted Murray sent me a map that showed Horsehoe Lake, south of Oroville, WA.
It appears to be a loop of the Okanagan River cut off by the river flow, and it is on the west side of the river.
As we know the fur traders followed the east bank of the river we can assume they may have stopped in the area near modern-day Horseshoe Lake, on the banks of the Okanagan River itself.
The town of Tonasket is on the east bank of the Okanagan River, with Siwash Creek to the north and Bonaparte to the south -- it probably sits between the two Bonaparte Rivers shown on the fur traders' maps.
Omak Lake lies well east of the Okanagan river and south east of the town of Okanagan and its airport.
The fur traders left the river bank and rode straight south to cut off the curve of the river to the west.
Of course this trail might have changed its route many times over its years of use, the same way our British Columbia trails have changed.
Is there anyone in the Washington area now exploring and geo-mapping this Okanogan trail?
In British Columbia a great deal of work is being done in preserving our trails, and there is talk in some quarters of forming a Friends of the Brigade Trails organization.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Okanagan Brigade Trail south to Fort Okinagan


The fur traders continued their journey south, riding southward along the west shore of Osoyoos Lake toward Fort Okanogan.
You will now notice the different spelling of the post.
Americans spell the word Okanogan but Canadians spell it Okanagan.
But when Alexander Caulfield Anderson first entered the territory west of the mountains in late October 1832, he learned to pronounce this fort's name "O-kee-na-gan," and spelled it Okinagan.
That is the spelling he used for the rest of his life, and he probably continued to pronounce the word the way he first learned to say it.

You will see that as they passed by Osoyoos Lake, the fur traders passed the 49th parallel of latitude, into what they called The Debated Territory.
In 1840, the boundary line between United States, and British-owned territory claimed by the Hudson's Bay Company, had been surveyed only as far as the east side of the Rocky Mountains, and Britain and United States shared ownership of the Columbia River basin.
Other than the Natives and a few American free-traders or trappers, the British fur traders and their employees were almost the only occupants of this territory.

As I told you in an earlier posting, Tea River (near the top of the map) was a regular campsite for the brigaders -- its modern-day name is Tesalinden Creek.
At Osoyoos Lake you can see Hudson's Bay company trails leading to the west, over the hump of land to follow the Similkameen River to the west -- this is the brigade trail that the Fort Colvile men used after 1848, but it was also a trail that the Natives in the district, and the fur traders, used regularly.
To the east of Osoyoos Lake is the Fort Colvile brigade trail that climbs over Anarchist Mountain, to cross Rock Creek and follow the Kettle River to the Columbia River.
Anderson called the Kettle River "Dease's River" on this 1858 map, and he continued to call it Dease's River on his 1867 map of British Columbia.
Dease's River would have been named for John Warren Dease, who worked in the Columbia District before Anderson arrived, and who certainly knew Anderson's father-in-law, James Birnie.
In his essay, "History of the Northwest Coast," Anderson wrote of John Warren Dease, who "...died at Fort Colvile on the Columbia River in 1830, and was buried in the Fort Vancouver cemetery, near the spot where the U.S. Garrison buildings were afterwards erected."

Twenty five miles south of Tea Creek was a place called Horseshoe Lake, where the brigaders camped again.
We can only speculate where Horseshoe Lake was -- I don't have a good map of this part of the world.
But according to Anderson's 1867 map of British Columbia, it might be a lake on the upper reaches of the Upper Bonaparte River (on that map the river has two branches and the lake appears to be on the northermost branch.)
Their next camp might be on the lower Bonaparte River; then they camped at a place they called Omak.
My modern day map of Washington State shows Omak Lake (and Omak River), quite a large lake lying east of the town of Omak, Wa., in the Colville Indian Reservation.
That might be the Rat Lake shown on our map above.
According to James Gibson, author of "The Lifeline of the Oregon Country; The Fraser-Columbia Brigade System, 1811-47 (UBC Press, 1997), it took eight days to ride the distance between Thompson's River (Kamloops) and Fort Okanogan.
But he does not have any information on the camping places along the brigade trail, unfortunately.

When the fur traders rode into Fort Okanogan, they unloaded their horses and turned them loose to graze for the summer.
The rest of the journey to Fort Vancouver would be made by boat, not horseback, and the fur traders must await the arrival of the Fort Colvile men who brought down their furs in boats.
Anderson would not be with the fur traders arriving at Fort Okanogan.
The outgoing brigades always sent men on horseback to Fort Colvile, to help the men bringing the boats downriver.
In 1840, clerks Archibald McKinlay and Alexander Anderson were sent by the Dease River trail to Fort Colvile, to join the boatmen travelling south to Fort Okanogan.
It was unlikely they would paddle the boats, and more likely they were placed in charge of a boat, responsible for the men and loads on their downward journey to Fort Okanogan.

When Alexander Caulfield Anderson took charge of Fort Colvile district eight years later, the tiny Fort Okinagan was one of three or four posts under his command.
By that time, the Fort Colvile men were taking their furs to Fort Langley by the Similkameen River brigade trail (which we will speak of in a later posting).
But Fort Okanogan was still occupied, and the man in charge was a French-Canadian named Joachim Lafleur.
In his memoirs, Anderson's son, James, described Lafleur's important position in Fort Colvile's outgoing 1851 brigade, and his fear of snakes:
"Next [after the gentleman leading the brigade] is a superior servant whose duty it is to keep up communication between the officer in charge and the brigade.
"This personage on the occasion of which I write was a French Canadian called La Fleur whose inordinate fear of snakes used to cause us much amusement.
"A dead rattlesnake which my father had one day killed and hung on a bush was the cause of great excitement.
"La Fleur on coming up to it, immediately set spurs to his horse and on his appearing in sight, riding furiously and waving his arms, the natural supposition was that the brigade had been attacked.
"'Un couleuvre monsier' explained the situation....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Brigade Trails through the South Okanagan



The map above shows both the upper and lower brigade trails south of Dog Lake, with the upper trail entering the map on the top, left, as it passes under Highway 3A, and the lower trail to the right hand side of the map.
You can see that the two trails merge at White Lake for a while, and then separate again as they travel through modern-day Oliver.
However, the accompanying photographs will not follow the brigade trail south, but the lowlands of the Okanagan River valley to the east.
The early fur traders might have followed the Okanagan River (and maybe in 1840 the outgoing brigade went out by the Okanagan River route), but the later traders used Native trails that travelled the hilltops or valleys to the west of the river.
As I have said in my last posting, you can actually follow the brigade trails through the country, by finding the backroads which more or less follow their routes through the valleys and lakes that make travel easy in this country.
But in the south Okanagan, the backroads do not follow the brigade trails as closely as those in the north.
According to my 1999 Penticton Forest District Map, a backroad leaves Kaleden (on the west side of Skaha Lake) and heads toward White Lake, where the two trails divide -- this road more or less follows the Lower Trail but branches off before it reaches White Lake.
It turns west to become the White Lake Road leading in from Twin Lakes Road, which follows Park Rill and the Upper Trail northward for some distance and connects with the Twin Lake Road which goes north to Trout Lake and Highway 3A.
If you are following the Twin Lakes/White Lake road from the west (and Highway 3A), it makes a sharp right turn to the south to reach White Lake -- if you are travelling from the east and Kaleden you will turn left down the White Lake Road to reach White Lake itself.
South of White Lake, the Fairview/White Lake Road joins the above mentioned roads at White Lake, and leads the driver a little north of the brigade trail all the way to Meyers Flat and Oliver to the southeast.
So again, it is possible to more or less follow the brigade trails through this country, by following the backroads.
But the trails are probably on private land, and you must respect that -- ask permission to look for the brigade trails, if that is what you want to do.

These two photographs, one at the top of the page, and one lower, are of Skaha, or Dog Lake.
The top photo looks toward Okanagan Lake, and those are the hills the fur traders would have ridden.
The bottom photo below and to the left looks south toward Okanagan River and Vaseaux Lake.

Skaha Lake is a resort town today.
To the east of the lake is Skaha Bluffs Rock Climbing Zone, and as you can see from the photos, this is a boaters' paradise.
The road runs down the west side of the lake, so the brigade trail is behind the photographer and in the hills of the photo that looks to the north.


These two photographs show the dry country south of modern day Skaha Lake.
We are following the Okanagan River south from Dog Lake, but I can't tell you which side of the river we are on at this point.
The road runs down the west side of the lake and crosses the River to run down the east side of Vaseaux Lake.
Its hot and dry; semi-desert with dry grass and scattered pines.
Though the brigaders were in the hills and may have enjoyed more shade than if they followed the valleys, I doubt they were much cooler.
They always travelled through this country in early or mid-summer, and their return was in the extreme heat of late summer.





These two photographs are of Vaseaux Lake; the road runs down the east side of the lake and so we look across the lake at the ridge of hills that the brigaders followed.
At this point, their trail was well back from the shores of Vaseaux Lake; they were in fact at White Lake, northwest of Vaseaux Lake.
These two photographs are of Vaseaux Lake -- one looks westward toward the trail, and one northward toward Dog Lake.
Notice the canoers.




We are looking south down Vaseaux Lake, and you can see the bump of McIntyre Bluff in the centre/right of the photograph.
Vaseaux Lake was often called Oak Lake in the fur traders' journals.
There are no oak here, so you may wonder how it got that name.
Biologists will tell you that a plant called Poison Oak grows along the shoreline of the lake.
Poison oak resembles poison ivy in that it is a stinging plant, and memorable once you have touched it.

This photograph is of McIntyre Bluff, as seen from Vaseaux Lake.
It lies south of Vaseaux Lake, and the city of Oliver is south of McIntyre Bluff.
The bluff is an impressive piece of rock and is mentioned in some fur traders journals, I understand.
However, the brigade trail did not follow the river along the base of the bluff, but rode along the ridge of hills to the west of the bluff.
They brigaders would have followed their trail over the back of the bluff, on the right hand side of the photograph.


These last two photographs are of Osoyoos Lake, taken from the side of Anarchist Mountain to the east of the lake.
The first photo, to the right, looks up the Okanagan valley to the north, toward the city of Oliver, McIntyre Bluff, and Vaseaux Lake beyond.
The second photograph looks across the lake at the hills that separated the Osoyoos Lake from the Similkameen River valley to the west.
The Similkameen valley is home to another brigade trail -- one that connected Fort Colvile, in American territory after 1846, to the Coquihalla brigade trail to Fort Langley.
We aren't going to follow this brigade trail yet, but it is in our future.
We will follow this trail southward to Fort Okanogan, and then eastward to Fort Colvile, where Anderson spent a few years.
As I have said before now, I have some interesting stories to tell you about Fort Colvile.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Okanagan brigade trails at Dog Lake



The first brigade trail ran through the Okanagan in the 1820's, and followed the shorelines of the lakes that lay along the Okanagan River south of Lake Okanagan.
But there were later brigade trails that took alternate routes that must have been easier to ride.
In this map, modern-day Summerland lies at the top of the page, west of Okanagan Lake.
You can see that there were two trails, separated by a narrow ridge of land, in the Summerland area north of Trout Creek.
The two trails merged or crossed at Summerland, and the upper trail mounted the hills to the west and crossed Trout Creek above its canyons, crossing two tributaries to the river they called Serpent Creek.
The modern name for Serpent Creek is Shingle Creek, which is also the name for the northern-most section of the creek.
If you leave Summerland and drive west along Prairie Valley Road, crossing the Kettle Valley Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway (and maybe passing Summerland's dump), you will more or less be following the route of the Upper brigade trail.
From Trout Creek Flat (where the railways run), the Shingle Creek/Summerland Road follows the route of the brigade trail almost exactly -- the road seems to run a little west of the trail all the way to Shingle Creek bridge.
The brigade trail even crossed Shingle Creek slightly east of modern-day Shingle Creek bridge.
A waiver here -- this information comes from The Okanagan Brigade Trail book I have already spoken of. It was published some years ago and it is, I suppose, possible that the backroads have been re-routed.

Shingle Creek flows eastward all the way to modern-day Penticton and the Okanagan River; modern-day Shatford Creek flows into Shingle Creek from the south.
The upper brigade trail followed the west bank of Shingle Creek and crossed Shatford Creek to the Marron River.
The furtraders called Shatford Creek Sheep Creek or Snake River.
Marron River is still named Marron River; the northernmost lake on the river is Aeneas Lake, and the one to the south Marron Lake.
To the furtraders, a Marron or maron was an unbroken horse.
If you follow the Marron Valley Road northward from Highway 3A, you will be more or less following the brigade trail north all the way to the Shingle Creek bridge.
These backroads follow the brigade trails all over the valley.

In his book "Lifeline of the Oregon Country," James Gibson gives us another batch of names for the various creeks and rivers the brigade trail crossed as it passed west of Dog Lake.
On page 93 he writes: "South of here [Summerland] the track split into an upper (inland) trail and a lower (lakeside) trail.
"The upper variant crossed the Riviere de la Fruite (Trout Creek), the Riviere du Poulin, or Beaver River (Shingle Creek above its junction with Shatford Creek?), the Riviere la Cendri (Shatford Creek?), the Riviere aux Serpens (Marron River?), and the middle course of Park Rill....."
(Park Rill is on the map in next posting).
As you see, the names are moving around and Riviere aux Serpens has moved south to become Marron River.
No wonder these brigade trails are so hard to locate when your only source is the fur traders' journals.
I do happen to know, however, that Riviere la Cendri would have translated as Cinder River.
At Fort Alexandria, Anderson's son James rode a horse he called Petite Cendre -- Little Cinder.

The trail we have followed in this posting was the Upper Trail, a later trail than the one that followed the Okanagan River north along the boggy shorelines.
I don't know whether this upper trail was used when Anderson left New Caledonia in 1840, or whether the lower trail was still in use.
The Lower Trail followed the shoreline, crossing Trout Creek below its two canyons, and travelling east of Mt. Nkwala (named for the Okanagan chief Nicola), followed the western shores of Dog Lake to Marron River.
Because of massive population growth in this area, we can only guess where the lower trail ran.