Most woodworkers love looking at the works of other woodworkers. I often think there is some sort of inspiration that happens when you have the opportunity to view someone else's work. When it's old, antique of classical furniture it's even better. Well, we had the opportunity recently to visit a historic site in Western Canada, not too far from the city of Cranbrook in British Columbia, called Fort Steele. The town was originally called Galbraith's Ferry as it was beside the Wild Horse River, and was settled around 1864 during the time of the Gold Rush that started in California and ended in Alaska in the late 1800's.

The name change happened in in 1888 when the general tone of the residents of area became tense and Superintendent Samuel (Sam) Steele of the North-West Mounted Police  was summoned, along with his troops, to come to the area and to try to resolve the unrest between the Ktunaxa and the white and Chinese settlers who were relatively new to the area.

Today Fort Steele is national historic site with buildings and furnishings either restored, or rebuilt as near as possible to their original state, and that's exactly what we came to see.  Original buildings from the 1880s and furniture from the period.

We located some fantastic finds as we toured the site, trying to keep out of the way of other tourists but still trying to capture all different furniture pieces as well as the building structures such as log buildings and antique furniture.

Click read more to see other photos of what we found ...

One of the first buildings we toured was the original barracks from 1888 when Sam Steele came to the area. The buildings were hastily erected log structures and were primarily sleeping and eating quarters for all the men. Bed consisted of what looks like a shallow wooden box with a rudimentary mattress all placed on two saw horses, other furniture was made from sticks and branches. 

And of course there was the old townsite, mostly disused now, but still attractive and picturesque in it's own way.


And finally, what article would be complete without the inclusing of the Fort Steele water wheel that is visible from miles around.