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Fort Desjarlais Site

Off The Beaten Path - Hikes and Explorations in the Brandon Region


Fort Desjarlais, built in 1836 by Joseph Desjarlais, was located between Hartney and Lauder

Its sturdy oak palisade surrounded a long log building and several smaller ones. The Souris River ran past the south wall. At its peak there could often be over seventy men at the fort. It operated for about twenty years, and was likely destroyed in a great prairie fire that swept through the region in 1856.



Sandhills Trail



Start of Trail:

49.421560
100. 726036











The fort was along the Yellowquill Trail which connected with Portage and Winnipeg to the east and proceeded
southwest along the north bank of the Souris.

The Fort was on this riverbank - much of the site has eroded.



View upriver.



Wider view - there is evidence of grave sites in the bush at the centre of this shot.



This small patch of sunken ground likely indicates a grave. We know many burials took
place here over the 20 year history of the site.




A smaller post, known only as "The American Fort" (ca. 1810- 1820) was located about
a kilometre, downriver, about the centre of this photo.






A short walk downstream takes us to another fur trade era site.




This buffalo vertebrae is a sample of the remains that are still readily found at the site..



A smaller post, known only as "The American Fort" (ca. 1810- 1820) was located about
a kilometre, downriver, about the centre of this photo.



The site of the "American Fort".



The dark spots in the river are schools of small catfish.





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