Fort Pitt Provincial Park

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For other places with this name see Fort Pitt (disambiguation).
Fort Pitt
Battle of Fort Pitt.jpg
Battle of Fort Pitt
Location Saskatchewan, Canada
Governing body Parks Canada
Website Parks Canada
Fort Pitt
North Saskatchewan River Saskatchewan Canada.
Fort Pitt is located in Saskatchewan
Fort Pitt
Fort Pitt
Coordinates 53°34′19″N 109°47′31″W / 53.572°N 109.792°W / 53.572; -109.792
Site information
Controlled by King George III/Queen Victoria
Site history
Built 1830
In use 1830-1870's
Battles/wars Battle of Fort Pitt

Fort Pitt was a fort built in 1830 by the Hudson's Bay Company that also served as a trading post on the North Saskatchewan River in Canada. It was built by Chief Factor John Rowand, previously of Fort Edmonton, in order to trade for bison hides, meat and pemmican. Pemmican, dried buffalo meat, was required as provisions for HBC's northern trading posts.

Fort Pitt was built where the territories of the Cree, Assiniboine and Blackfoot converged. It was located on a large bend in the river just east of the present day Alberta-Saskatchewan border and was the major post between Fort Edmonton and Fort Carlton. In 1876, it was one of the locations for signing Treaty 6. It was the scene of the Battle of Fort Pitt during the Northwest Rebellion of 1885.

The site was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1954.[1] It is now operated as the Fort Pitt Provincial Park [1].


Fort Pitt (1829-1890) was a prairie trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company on the North Saskatchewan River about 10 miles east of the Alberta border. It is best known for the Battle of Fort Pitt in 1885. It traded mainly in pemmican and buffalo robes with the Blackfoot, Cree and some Métis. There was a fair amount of agriculture and horse-rearing. It was named after Thomas Pitt, a member of the HBC governing board from 1810 to 1832. For background see Saskatchewan River fur trade.

It was started in September 1829 by Patrick Small, son of North West Company partner, Patrick Small, the brother-in-law of David Thompson and John MacDonald and the son-in-law of David Hughes.[2][3] During the first winter Small and his men had to live in tents. Building was not completed until the spring of 1831. It was closed in 1832 for fear of Indian attack and reopened in the fall of 1833. There were frequent skirmishes between Cree and Blackfoot in the area. At some date the Fort Pitt Cree killed either 19 or 30 Blackfoot in revenge for their having scalped alive some Cree. Paul Kane was here in 1848. In 1843 John Rowand, the son of John Rowand of Fort Edmonton, became master. In 1854 the elder Rowand, on his way to retirement, visited his son. While attempting to break up a fight between two voyageurs he had a heart attack and died. In 1863 there was Blackfoot raiding in the area. In 1870 a large smallpox epidemic struck the North Saskatchewan. In 1872 it was said that there were more horses kept at Fort Pitt than any place on the Saskatchewan. 1873 was the last year that large Buffalo herds were seen. Treaty 6 was signed here in 1876. In 1883 25 North-West Mounted Police were sent to Fort Pitt under the command of Francis Dickens, the son of the novelist. In 1885 the fort was plundered and burned by the Crees. Next September it was rebuilt by Angus McKay. In 1887 a branch post was built at Onion Lake about 20 mi (32 km) northwest. In 1890 everything was moved to Onion Lake and Fort Pitt was closed.

It was on the north bank of the river on a flat above a bluff. The stockade was 15 ft (4.6 m) high and 15 ft (4.6 m) on a side. Around 1980 there was a post-Fort Pitt log building in a grassy field. Today there is a Provincial Historic Park.

See also[edit]


  • Elizabeth Browne Losey, "Let Them be Remembered: The Story of the Fur Trade Forts",1999
  1. ^ Fort Pitt. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  2. ^ Fromhold, Joachim. Alberta History Jasper National Park: 10,000 Years of Indian History Part 2 - 1750 to 1850. p. 175. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Brown, Wayne (2013). Sam Steele and the Northwest Rebellion the trail of 1885. Victoria, BC: Heritage House. p. 44. ISBN 9781927527245. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 

External links[edit]