Town of Fort Steele started as a small gold rash settlement in 1860th. Then in 1880th the railroad was built and major deposits of silver, lead and coal were discovered nearby so Fort Steele became the regions commercial, social, and administrative center and quickly grew to over 1,000 people. Finally, in 1904, the Provincial government offices were moved to Cranbrook and by 1910 Fort Steele was in a state of sharp decline.
In the late 1950’s, local citizens devoted to bringing Fort Steele back to life petitioned the Provincial Government to protect the old town. In 1961, the Government declared Fort Steele an historic park with a mandate “to preserve, present, and manage for public benefit the historic settlement of Fort Steele . . .”
Fort Steele is a living history museum. Activities there vary by season. During summer season they have street theatre, museum displays, livestock demonstrations, live theatre shows, steam train rides, horse-drawn wagon rides, and heritage trades demonstrations. We found it extremely fascinating. Some of the houses had just a display of period furniture and items but many had people working there as they would in the nineteenth century. Unfortunately, we had time to visit only a part of the town since it was closing but we saw a blacksmith and a dressmaker. They were dressed in period costumes and produced items as they were made in old days and that could be purchased there. They also had old breeds of farm animals and old farm equipment. I wish we had more time to see everything there. Luckily, we were not kicked out at 5pm and were able to wonder around for additional half an hour. I would strongly recommend anyone who is traveling close by to visit this charming piece of Canadian history. Here is their website:
You can also take a virtual tour:
I took a lot of photos there and they are clickable to larger size:
Here is the blacksmith who learned his craft from a guy who was working here before him who learned his craft from another guy who worked in the same shop before him. Very Impressive!
Do you see an outhouse on your far left? Makes you appreciate modern days conveniences!
Isn't he a handsome dude?
Unfortunately, he was more interested in females of his own species than in us )-:
This is a single room school:
And this is a school bus:
This is court room:
And right next to the court room is small prison:
To be continued....