Sunday, August 15, 2010
Campement du Poulain
I have just learned that "Campement du Poulain," mentioned a few postings earlier, is not named for a grouse, but a horse -- Poulain meant "colt."
"Riviere Biche," which runs into Okanagan Lake just north of Mauvais Rocher, is named for a female deer or doe.
This information comes from a book, "The Okanagan Brigade Trail in the South Okanagan, 1811 to 1849: Oroville, Washington, to Westside, B.C.," which was published some time ago by Bob Harris, Harley Hatfield, and Peter Tassie. There are two volumes to this book, I am told, but I have the maps from one only.
Anyway, for those of you who are foolish enough to try to follow the old brigade trail through the South Okanagan valley, I have a table of distances for you.
These distances and notes come from the above mentioned book.
The campsites are noted on A.C. Anderson's 1867 map, and the authors of the book figured the distances between the camp, adding a note that says "Anderson probably stopped at every second campsite; brigades could not travel 30 miles per day."
From Fort Okanogan on the Columbia River (in United States) the fur traders travelled north and camped at these possible places -- Omak; Tonasket? (Lower Bonaparte River); and Horseshoe Lake.
Once in what became British Columbia, they stopped at Tea River, now Testalinden Creek, 30 miles from their last camp supposedly at Horseshoe Lake. (They are travelling north toward the bottom of Lake Okanagan).
Their next major camp was on today's Penticton Indian Reserve near the church on the lower road, at the bottom end of Okanagan Lake and 32 miles from the Tea River.
The next night was almost certainly near modern-day Summerland (Campement du Prele?); two nights later they camped at McDonald's River as shown on my map. Today's McDonald's River is McDougall Creek.
After that they camped on the south side of Riviere Biche (Doe River), now called Shorts Creek. This place was estimated at about twenty miles north of their last camp.
Twenty five miles (and two days later?) they camped on the south side of the Salmon River Crossing, and 28 miles later they were at Campement du Poulain (named for the colt, if you remember).
By the next night they had reached Kamloops post.
The photograph above in of the re-enactors campsite inside Fort Langley, and shows the kind of tents the fur traders' might have used.
The tents might also have been made of leather.
But only the gentlemen slept under a tent; or at least that was true on the east side of the mountains.
Supposedly the voyageurs wrapped themselves in blankets and slept wherever they could find shelter.