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Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History No. 26

The Old Fort Point Site: Fort Wedderburn II?

by Karlis Karklins


In 1971, The National Historic Parks and Sites Branch, Parks Canada, Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, excavated a site on Old Fort Point at the west end of Lake Athabaska, Alberta, initially believed to be Fort Chipewyan I. Subsequent research suggests that the site may have been the temporary 1817-18 location of Fort Wedderburn, a Hudson's Bay Company post operating on the lake from 1815 to 1821.

The site consisted of 12 pits and the well-preserved foundation of a single four-room structure measuring 24.7 ft. by 39 ft. Enough of the building's components remained so that many of the construction techniques could be determined. Each room had a wooden floor and a clay-cemented stone fireplace. No cellars were encountered.

Most of the 271 recovered artifacts were household and personal items; however, tools, hardware and items concerned with subsistence, defence and transportation were also encountered. The artifacts which could be dated bracket the period from about 1810 to 1815.

Submitted for publication 1975, by Karlis Karklins, National Historic Parks and Sites Branch, Parks Canada, Ottawa.

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