Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Update - Chilliwack and First Contact 1808 - 1839

Sometimes after I have written an article I receive fresh information. Noted local historian Daphne Sleigh, author of "The People of the Harrison", sent me some further insights on my post "Chilliwack and First Contact 1808 - 1839"

Fort Langley - Warehouse 1840

She writes,

Did you know that there was a Hudson’s Bay saltery built in 1847 on the Harrison River where Rowena’s is now?   It was established after the Chilliwack one proved disappointing. All this is likewise more or less forgotten by the historical societies.

I asked her to confirm my thoughts on what a "saltery" was. Her response,

Yes, a saltery was for preserving and shipping salmon.  The beaver had been over-hunted by then and the HBC was trying to find some other profitable export, so they experimented with this. 
This saltery was established on the Harrison River just below the good fishing grounds near the mouth of the Chehalis.  It is referred to in HBC documents, but unfortunately is not noted on any map in the HBC Archives.  However, this is the most likely spot, and Charles Pretty believed from oral tradition that it had been on his property.

I had the pleasure of sitting with Daphne and her husband Francis at a fund raiser a few years ago and you can imagine I was more than a little pleased with that arrangement. I have been a fan ever since. Thank you Daphne once again. 

To find her books, visit the local museums or purchase them online at her publisher or

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