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2. H.B.C. Districts

"Portage La Loche in 1862" and "The Portage La Loche Brigade" articles are now on the next two pages.

Map of the Hudson's Bay Company Districts in 1830
1830 map of the Hudson's Bay Company's Company's territories reproduced with permission from Richard Somerset Mackie
"Trading Beyond the Mountains: The British Fur Trade on the Pacific, 1793-1843 "  (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997).

List of Hudson's Bay Company Districts and Posts in 1856.

English River District 

The English River District of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1832 included an area of northwest Saskatchewan
and extended into parts of Alberta. The headquarters of this District was located at Ile a la Crosse. (view map above)
Lac La Loche including the Portage was in its north western end. The Clearwater River was in the Athabasca District of the HBC.
The number of posts in the English River District varied over the years. Some posts became part of another District as the boundaries of the District changed. Some posts closed and new posts were opened.

Note: The English River was another name for the Churchill River.

The English River posts in 1786 were Ile a la Crosse, Lac la Ronge, Rat River area and Fort Chipewyan area. (North West Company)
The English River posts in 1825 were Ile a la Crosse, Green Lake, Lac la Ronge and  Grey Deer Lake.  (HBC posts)
The English River posts in 1856 were Ile a la Crosse, Green Lake, Rapid River, Portage La Loche, Cold Lake and Deer Lake.  (HBC posts)                                                                                              
*Note: Mostly "Dene" frequented the Ile a la Crosse post in 1825. They numbered 469.
              The Dene population total of 469 included 87 men, 106 women, 136 male children and 140 female children
*Note: The "Cree" population mostly frequented the Green Lake and Lac la Ronge posts. They numbered 235.
The reference for the Dene population in 1825 is on this link. (see item 15)

Ile a la Cr
osse (drawing by Sir George Back in 1820) was the headquarters of the English River District.
This drawing shows the forts of the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company. Back's drawing 
and the John Franklin map below were drawn during the Coppermine Expedition of 1819-1822.

Ile a la Crosse was the birthplace of the father of Louis Riel.
Jean-Baptiste Bruce, guide of one of the Portage La Loche brigades,
was also born in Ile a la Crosse. 

John Franklin's 1820 expedition map detailing the Churchill River (English River) fur trade route from Lac Île-à-la-Crosse to Frog Portage with the Beaver River coming in the lake from the south. 
Only the discharge of the Rapid River which flows from Lac La Ronge to the Churchill River is shown. The map does not show the Churchill River past Frog Portage but continues south to the
Cumberland District and Cumberland House on the Saskatchewan River System.

Red River District

Fort Garry was the headquarters of the Red River District.
Fort Garry and St. Boniface by Paul Kane circa 1851-56 

Fort Garry was directly across the river from St. Boniface. Father Petitot viewed the burnt out remains of this church in 1862.
Another church was later rebuilt at the same location.
St. Boniface, the Red River Settlement, was the birthplace of Louis Riel. 
He was buried in front of the cathedral. 
St. Boniface, Red River Settlement by William H.E. Napier circa 1857-8
"Upper Fort Garry in Snow" by George Seton in 1858   

Lower Fort Garry which was 32 kilometers down the river was also called the Stone Fort.               

York District

York Factory in 1853 (from flick,com) was the headquarters of the York District of the HBC.
Below is a map of York Factory 1840's (from 11-HBCA-FC) found inside of published work "The Letters of Letitia Hargrave"
As headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company in Canada from 1713 to 1957 York Factory on the Hudson Bay was the main supply depot for the Hudson's Bay Company posts. Ships from England came here with supplies and trade goods and returned to England with furs. (from 1684 until 1931)

Aerial view of York Factory in 1925

Cumberland District
Cumberland House July 3,1894 by J.B. Tyrrell. (HBC Archives #
HBCA 1987/363-C-61/3)
Cumberland House was the Headquarters of the Cumberland District of the HBC.
Cumberland House from the dock on July 3, 1894 by J.B. Tyrrell
Cumberland House teepee and York boats on July 3, 1894 by Tyrrell

Norway District
Norway House was the headquarters of the Norway District of the HBC. It was also the site of the yearly Hudson's Bay Company Northern Council Meetings from 1830 to 1870. The meetings had previously been held at York Factory.
A Norway House map from 1889 is shown below. (210-HBCA-B)
It was created by C.I. Bouchette in 1889. 

Norway House by William Napier 1856 (edited)

Athabasca District

Fort Chipewyan (drawing by Sir George Back in 1820) was the headquarters of the Athabasca District of the HBC. Note the Dene/Chipewyan tipis in the foreground.

Fort Chipewyan from the top of the prison in 1893 by J.B. Tyrrell.
The R.C. Mission buildings are barely seen on the far shore. The
Episcopal Church is at the end of the row of houses.
Fort Chipewyan in 1900 by Tyrrell with steamer frozen in the ice.

Mackenzie District
Fort Simpson was the headquarters of the Mackenzie District of the HBC.

Saskatchewan District

Fort Edmonton was headquarters of the Saskatchewan District of the HBC. The Alberta Capital Buildings are now just above this site.

Fort Edmonton in 1856 by Paul Kane (edited)

York Boats

York boats being portaged around rapids by Rindisbacher in 1821 (edited)

York boats with tent coverings stopped for the night on Lake Winnipeg by Rindisbacher in 1821 (edited)

York Boats in 1913 manned by Dogribs in NWT (from 
The Canadian Museum of Civilization. (four photos)

York boats came to Portage La Loche every year from as early as 1822.

Portaging a York boat.