Fort Whoop Up
Fort Whoop Up
Fort Whoop-up was the nickname that eventually was adopted as the official name given to a whiskey trading post that was originally Fort Hamilton. It is near now what is known as Lethbridge. During the late 19th century, the post served as a center for various illegal activities. The sale of whiskey was outlawed but, due to the lack of a police force in the region at the time, many whisky traders had settled in the area and taken to charging unusually high prices for their goods.
Fort Hamilton was first built in 1869 by J.J Healy and A.B Hamilton - two traders from the Fort Benton area of Montana - to serve as a trading post. It was then destroyed by a fire a year after construction, not known if it was an accident or not. A second, structure later replaced the first Fort Hamilton, and was later nicknamed Fort Whoop-up. It was named after one type of alcohol called Whoop-up Bug Juice. They also traded buffalo robes and furs for firearms and ammunition.
Fort Whoop Up traded with many people including first nations.But liquor definitely was a commodity of trade between Whoop-Up and the Blackfoot people, as they had long been introduced to the substances by the Hudson's Bay and the American Fur Companies. The Bloods and Piegan knew what whisky was, and wanted access to the bug juice.
What Fort Whoop Up is like today
Fort Whoop-Up is now a museum. The Museum has events for the entire year and in particular; the most enjoyable are the summer daily events in which the whole family could participate. These are Cannon Firing, Interpretive Wagon Rides, Pony Rides and Scoundrel Skits and Gunfights. Since 1990, the Fort attracts visitors and tourists. So, the owners and keepers realized the need to continuously update the historic site so that people who visit the place will have a better understanding of how the fort’s history impacted the Albertan and Western Canadian life.