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Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site of Canada

Day 11: August 8, 2014, Friday
Ships and Cannons, It’s the Anniversary of the French Arrival at the Fort

Ship and tugboat viewed from the fort with an original cannon in the foreground. On the anniversary of the French arrival at Prince of Wales Fort, a ship is guided by a tug boat heading to the Port of Churchill.
© Parks Canada

On August 8, 232 years ago, the French arrived by ship at Prince of Wales Fort. The English had no military men present, so the Governor, Samuel Hearne, surrendered without firing a shot. The French, lead by Jean Francois de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse, rendered the fort uninhabitable by damaging the cannons, setting fires and blowing up the fort entrance, powder magazine and storage rooms.

Today, a ship entered the Churchill River from the Hudson Bay to dock at the Port of Churchill. The fort visitors included tour groups while a polar bear was chased away before getting to close. We continued to excavate on the rampart and discover more 18th century artifacts reflecting daily life and the fur trade.

Fort Prince of Wales National Historic Site provides visitors a unique opportunity to visit a fortification and fur trade post and to experience the English and French presence on Hudson Bay. Prince of Wales Fort is the only remaining 18th century stone fortification in western and northern Canada.

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