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History of Major Posts
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Fort Saskatchewan

When Inspector William D. Jarvis and A Division left the main contingent on the March West, they headed north and west to Fort Edmonton. Exhausted, they were welcomed by the Hudson's Bay Company and the townspeople and quartered at the Fort. During the winter, Jarvis looked around for an appropriate location for the new NWMP fort. Much to the dismay of both the HBC and local residents, Jarvis chose a site about 30 kms down river. Edmontonians wanted the NWMP post in their own town of course; Jarvis chose his site based on the expected route of the railway and to avoid Hudson's Bay Company lands. The Sturgeon Creek post, later renamed Fort Saskatchewan, was built in 1875.

Whether poor reporting or just a misunderstanding, the building of the Fort in part by hired contractors placed Jarvis in hot water with his supervisor. Commissioner French had expected the Mounties to saw the timber and build their own fort, just as they had at Fort Macleod. The fort, complete with stockade, barracks rooms, stable, guard room, cook house, ice house, workshops, corral and parade grounds served the men well, and was expanded as Fort Saskatchewan grew in importance.

In 1880, A Division was replaced by Inspector Antrobus and 15 men from D Division. Four years later, the fort became an outpost of Fort Calgary and E Division under Inspector Griesbach. After the North West Rebellion, G Division established divisional headquarters at Fort Saskatchewan, swelling the garrison to around 100 men.

From Fort Saskatchewan, policemen were sent to outposts at Edmonton, Red Deer, Wetaskiwin, St. Albert and Victoria.

The Fort's importance gradually diminished. G Division moved to Edmonton in 1909 and men were re-assigned until by 1913 only 14 men remained at the Fort. It finally closed in 1916. Almost 50 years passed before the RCMP re-established a detachment in the community of Fort Saskatchewan.


The barracks at Fort Saskatchewan.
The barracks at Fort Saskatchewan.



Travelling the road between Victoria Settlement and Fort Saskatchewan.
Travelling the road between Victoria Settlement and Fort Saskatchewan.
 
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4. Establishment of a Police Force


Daily Life and Routine at the Posts
Development of communities around NWMP posts