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Boat Encampment facts for kids

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Boat Encampment was a rendezvous and staging point for the Hudson's Bay Company in the early 19th century and later a locality by that name in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It was located at the "top" of the Big Bend of the Columbia north of the city of Revelstoke, British Columbia and southeast of Valemount. Its site today is beneath the waters of Kinbasket Lake Reservoir, formed by the Mica Dam of the Columbia River Treaty.


The origin and name of Boat Encampment dates to David Thompson's exploration of the Athabasca Pass route to the Columbia River. During the winter of 1810–11. Thompson and a small party of voyageurs crossed the Continental Divide at Athabasca Pass in early January, 1811 and soon reached the Columbia River. After a brief attempt to travel south to Kootanae House they returned to the mouth of the Canoe River to wait out the winter. Unable to build a canoe out of birch bark Thompson and his men spent five weeks constructing a wooden clinker-built boat. This was a task they were not skilled in and it took a great deal of trial-and-error. Thompson named the site Boat Encampment after this experience in boat-building.

Boat Encampment was an important waystation during the twice-annual HBC "Express" overland trade route between Fort Vancouver and York Factory on Hudson Bay then via ship to London. As a setting it figures in the tragic story of the Dalles des Morts.

It remained on British Columbia roadmaps and town registries until its inundation.

The site was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1943. The historic marker was moved to a nearby point when the area was flooded in 1973.

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