Fort Macleod (1874-1883) - A North West Mounted Police (NWMP) fort first established in 1874 by Colonel James F. Macleod, NWMP, near in the present day town of Fort Macleod, Alberta. Abandoned in 1883 for the Fort Macleod NWMP Barracks.
Fort Macleod History
Established on 13 Oct 1874 by Colonel James F. Macleod and a column of 150 North West Mounted Police near in the present day town of Fort Macleod. The site selected was on the south bank of the Oldman River near strategic trails for the whiskey trade. The new fort was built in a 200 foot square with 12 foot high logs forming a palisades and with rooms lining the palisade. The logs were chinked with mud and the resulting buildings were leaky and unsatisfactory.
In 1881 a change in the course of the river turned the fort site and the small town that had grown up around it into an island. Parts of that island began to wash away and by 1883 the water was threatening the fort and the decision was made to move it to a better site. This time a contractor was selected to construct the new post. The new post was an open plan post instead of a palisaded fort and came to be known as Fort Macleod NWMP Barracks. The post and the town moved to the new location in 1883 and the old fort was closed.
Part of the Fort Macleod National Historic Site of Canada. Archeological remains only at the original site. Historical cairn and plaque located next to the post office in the town of Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada. No visitor center or easy access to the actual site.
Also located in town is The Fort Museum of the NWMP and First Nations Interpretive Center. This is a museum located in a fort setting but it is not a reproduction of either the first Fort Macleod or the Fort Macleod NWMP Barracks. The museum does contain excellent models of both posts, significant displays and interpretive panels about the NWMP. The museum operates several other attractions in conjunction with the museum one of which is a copy of the RCMP Musical Ride done by local teenage volunteers.
Visited: 13 Aug 2014