Fort Churchill National Historic Site of Canada
Plaque and Cairn
(© Parks Canada / Parcs Canada)
Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Existing plaque: cairn is located at Cape Merry
1931: plaque GPS (Lat: 58° 47' 13.3764", Long: -94° 12' 5.1912", NAD83) Churchill, Manitoba
The Danish explorer Jens Munk wintered across the river above this point in 1619-20. In 1689 the Hudson's Bay Company attempted to establish a post and whale fishery here, but it was only in 1717 that James Knight built a permanent wooden fort at Munk's wintering site. Between 1740 and 1782 the company occupied the stone Prince of Whales Fort on Eskimo Point; when the French destroyed the latter, Samuel Hearne rebuilt Fort Churchill on Knight's original site in 1783. The post operated throughout the 19th century, and with the completion of the Hudson Bay Railway in 1929 Churchill became Manitoba's only ocean port.