Fort Ostell (1885-1885) - A fort established in 1885 during the North West Rebellion by Captain John B. Ostell, 65th Battalion Mount Royal Rifles, Alberta Field Force, near present day Ponoka, Alberta, Canada. Named for Captain Ostell, commander of the post. Abandoned later in 1885.
History of Fort Ostell
The North West Rebellion was an uprising by some settlers, First Nations and Metis peoples against the Canadian Dominion Government that was accompanied by some acts of violence. Major General Thomas B. Strange in command of the Alberta Field Force established Fort Normandeau at Red Deer, Fort Ostell at Ponoka and Fort Ethier north of Wetaskiwin as a precautionary step to discourage local participation in the rebellion.
Fort Ostell was built in May 1885 around a former Hudson's Bay Company post that had been looted. Captain Ostell and his men constructed the post as a six sided defense with the HBC building at the center. The Captain and his men were housed in four tents, two at each end of the building. The interior of the post had a series of canals with movable bridges across them. The whole post was surrounded with an abbatis (sharpened poles facing the enemy).
The post was garrisoned during May-June 1885 and then abandoned by the troops when the threat of conflict subsided.
No remains. Roadside marker at the southern end of Ponoka, Alberta. Information and displays at the Fort Ostell Museum. Displays include a small model of the fort and a picture of Captain Ostell. Information at the museum identifies the location of the post as "in the farm field just south of the County Dump sight (sic) at the south end of Ponoka". The legal description of the site of the HBC post is S.W. 5-43-25 W 4th.
Visited: 13 Jul2014