Family Fun Adventure (Canada): Fort Langley National Historic Site

 

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Super excited to bring you this Family Fun Adventure from…Canada! Yes, folks we had the blessing of making our way up north to enjoy the holidays with our Canadian family, and it was LOVELY! Today’s post comes to you from Historic Fort Langley in British Columbia

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We did the touristy thing and went with the Grandparents and Auntie Yvette (not pictured here, she took the better picture so I used hers! Thanks Yvette. Start writing for my blog pretty please) to the Fort one rainy day. Here is the pricing: Adults: $8.oo Youth: $4.00 Family: $20.oo (not sure how large a family counts) My sister had some passes since she worked for Parks Canada, which took care of the kids and 2 adults. We ended up paying 3 adult tickets for about $25. If you had to pay for everyone it could get a bit pricey for a large group, but it is definitely great value. This site is nicely paved so strollers aren’t a problem. It also has the added bonus of being fenced, er, walled in so the kiddies are contained. We had our stroller, but our almost 4 year old preferred to run around

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Inside view of the palisades

See the shed like roof off of the wall? There is a window in the wall that they used for trade with the Native people

“Fort Langley is the exact location where, a century and a half ago, a huge fur trade organization called the Hudson’s Bay Company established a small post to trade with the First Nations of the West Coast. The enterprise grew, evolved, and influenced history, leading to the creation of the colony of British Columbia” (taken from Parks Canada website. See link at the bottom of this post)

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L: Under the wall walk R: Stairs leading to the wall walk

This place is perfect for kids in the 5-12ish age range. There’s quite a few things for hands on fun, like a children’s museum in that you can wander around and touch most everything for the younger ones and slightly older ones will be able to enjoy the historical value. My older boys (13 and 15) weren’t all that interested in the history, but they were fine with wandering around. My 1st grader was TOO excited and couldn’t stop running all over looking for everything on the map and interactive booklet that was handed out to the kids. I had a hard time slowing him down to point out different interesting things. He was the same way at the LA Natural History Museum (https://juggling5monkeys.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/family-fun-adventure-la-natural-history-museum/) too overwhelmed to focus on details, which is funny cause he’ll listen to me read plenty of detailed science books. As an adult, I loved the place! It was a wonderful educational peek into life in the 1800’s and the birth place of British Columbia

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Here’s a picture from up on the wall walk at the top of the log walls surrounding the Fort where soldiers could patrol on look out

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L: Grandparents talking to the cooper making barrels for shipping salted salmon, cranberries and other goods

R: Mom and Azure in the store house in front of pelts that would have made up the fur trade that this area was known for. An attendant informed me that bear fur was commonly used as the outer wrapping for a pile of furs as it was the least expensive pelt

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L: Pretend to be a blacksmith for a few minutes R: Big boys testing out the bellows at the smithy

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L: Boat used for trade R: Try your hand at panning for gold at certain times of year

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Some kitchen areas in the houses. Interestingly, two or more families shared these homes. Each family area consisted of one large room with kitchen and sleeping areas just like in the Little House on the Prairie books. Some thing that struck me was how dark these houses must have been. There was some electric lighting disguised as candles or lanterns, even still, in the cloudy weather that is Vancouver for the most part, inside was really dark

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They really try to make the areas lived in. Beds with blankets, knitting basket out, food on the table. Everything is very tidy which it probably really was, since people didn’t have too much stuff back then 🙂 The grounds are, I imagine a lot neater than it was in real life. More park like and less like a muddy farm

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In the fall there are farm animals, a vegetable garden and mini orchard on site. Nothing to see when we visited late December. There also weren’t any crowds to deal with. Awesome! We pretty much had the run of the place

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A view of the Big House

“British Columbia was proclaimed a colony at a ceremony in the Big House on November 19, 1858. The present building was reconstructed for the centennial of this event. The original building served as the fort’s office and residence of the chief trader, the clerk, and their families” (taken from Parks Canada website) I learned that the Fort was built twice after being destroyed by fire and the only original building from the second build on site is the Storehouse. I didn’t think to ask the attendants what happened to the other buildings (its killing me now!) and I can’t seem to find anything online (let me know if anyone knows the answer) it seems like there was too much competition in trade and that led to the Fort ceasing to be a company post in 1886

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The kids enjoying some of the items they could touch and dress up with

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I was very impressed that the vintage clothing, dolls, china etc. could be handled. Very cool in my book!

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L: Old fashioned sink. A pitcher and wash bowl R: Furnace

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Some items in the stores that traders and gold miners would need

 I wished I would have read up about the site’s history before the visit. My overall impression of this place was…its an awesome educational gem! We had a great time and I thought the value was pretty decent. Some reviews I read suggested some visitors weren’t happy with crowds, lack of shows, activities and attendants to speak with. Although there weren’t any shows or special activities at the time of our visit (late December) there also were virtually no crowds, we still had a memorable and interesting visit. We spoke with a couple friendly attendants dressed in period clothing and they were able to answer our questions and tell us  interesting details of life and trade products of the Fort. I would certainly recommend this place for visitors to the area and would also consider an annual pass to bring the younger kids

Hope you enjoyed this post of our visit to Historic Fort Langley in British Columbia

Here’s the link to the Parks Website: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/bc/langley/natcul.aspx

To Pin any of these pictures, see my Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/hellokate81/jugglingfivemonkeys-blog-adventure/

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