Fort Steele in East Kootenay, British Columbia — Canada’s West Coast (North America)
Gold miners poured into this area in the 1860’s crossing the Kootenay River at the foot of this street. The settlement that grew up here was first called Galbraith’s Ferry.
In 1887 the N.W.M.P. established a post here when friction developed between local natives and newly arrived ranchers. Spt. Sam Steele and 75 men maintained order and when they left one year later, the village changed its name to Fort Steele.
Fort Steele boomed in the 90’s as a center of river traffic and speculation; however, when the railway bypassed the town in 1898, its population plummeted.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1887.
Location. 49° 36.942′ N, 115° 37.818′ W. Marker is in Fort Steele, British Columbia, in East Kootenay. Marker is on Provincial Highway 93/95 close to St. Mary's Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Steele BC V0B 2L2, Canada. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 19 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Railway Centennial (approx. Kootenay Steamboats (approx. 18 kilometers away).
Also see . . . Fort Steele (Wikipedia). Fort Steele was a gold rush boom town founded in 1864 by John Galbraith. The town was originally called "Galbraith's Ferry", named after the ferry set up by the city's founder over the Kootenay River. It was the only ferry within several hundred miles so Mr.Galbraith charged very high prices to get across. The town was renamed Fort Steele in 1888, after legendary Canadian lawman Superintendent Sam Steele of the North-West Mounted Police solved a dispute between a settler who had unjustly accused one of the local First Nations men with murder. This dispute had caused a great deal of tension between the town and the native people. Sam Steele, finding no real evidence against the accused natives, had the charges against them lifted. Both the town and the First Nations people were so grateful that they renamed the town Fort Steele. Much to Steele's dismay, the "Fort" part of the name comes from the NWMP setting up a station in the town, whereas the town itself was never a real fort. (Submitted on December 1, 2016.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 1, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 488 times since then and 81 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 1, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.