In his article, "Fur Trade Forts in Washington," (Washington Historical Quarterly, now Pacific Northwest Quarterly), historian O.B. Sperlin tells us that "during the same summer of 1811 a small party under David Stuart built Okanogan Post, the third establishment in Washington."
The first post in modern day Washington State was Spokane House, built in early 1811 by the men employed by the North West Company's explorer David Thompson.
The second post was was Fort George (Astoria), at the mouth of the Columbia River by the Pacific Fur Company in summer 1811.
The above David Stuart was an employee of the Pacific Fur Company, and he pushed upriver as far as the Northwesters' Spokane House.
He then returned downriver to establish the third establishment in modern day Washington State, called Okanogan Post.
This post was on the southeast bank of the Okanogan River one-half a mile from its junction with the Columbia, and consisted of a small (16x20 feet) dwelling, and storage.
Over the next three years, more buildings were added to this site.
Clerk Alexander Ross spent the winter of 1811-12 alone at the Okanogan post trading for some "1,550 beavers, besides other peltries, worth in the Canton market, 2,250 pounds sterling."
When summer of 1812 came, the Pacific Fur Company men built a new fort on the Spokane River close to David Thompson's house.
Then the War of 1812 caused the Americans to worry for their safety in this territory, and they decided to abandon their posts.
In spite of that, it was not until November 1813 that the Northwesters' took over the Pacific Fur Company forts in Washington Territory (and according to this article, the Americans of the Pacific Fur Company forced the Northwesters to take over their forts by gunpoint!)
To continue Fort Okanogan's story: So in November 1813, the men of the North West Company took over the fur trade and buildings of Fort Okanogan.
The first improvement the Northwesters' made was the rebuilding of Fort Okanogan post under Ross Cox in 1816.
The location of the new post was one and a half mile southeast of the old fort, across the peninsula and on the banks of the main stream of the Columbia.
By September 1816, Cox had completed a new dwelling, two houses for his men, and a large storehouse for furs and trading goods.
These houses were for the most part built of timber, but some buildings used adobe mud.
The buildings were surrounded by palisades fifteen feet high and the two bastions on opposite corners had light four-pounders (large gun or cannon) and loopholes for musketry.
From Jean Webber's article in Okanagan History, 1993, "Fur Trading Posts in the Okanagan and Similkameen," we have the following information:
Fort Okanogan was established in 1811 by David Stuart and Alexander Ross of the American Pacific fur Company.
The post was situated on the Okanogan River one half mile upstream from the river's confluence with the Columbia.
When the War of 1812 broke out, the North West Company took advantage of the situation to persuade the Americans at Fort Astoria (Fort George) to sell out its interests.
In 1816, the Northwesters' replaced the original buildings with a stockaded group of well constructed buildings.
She quotes from Ross Cox's book, "The Adventures on the Columbia:"
"By the month of September, we had erected a new dwelling house for the person in charge, containing four excellent rooms and a large dining hall, two good houses for the men and a spacious store for the furs and merchandise, to which was attached a shop for trading with the natives.
"The whole was surrounded by strong palisades fifteen feet high and flanked by two bastions.
"Each bastion had in its lower story a light brass four-pounder, and in the upper story loop-holes were left for the use of musketry."
From 1812 onwards, the Northwesters in the Thompson's River at Kamloops brought their furs on pack animals down the Okanagan valley and River, to Fort Okanogan.
At Fort Okanogan the furs were loaded onto boats or bateaux for the trip downriver to Fort George (Astoria), their headquarters at the mouth of the Columbia River.
If you are interested in finding out how Fort Okanogan (the earlier fort, I assume) might have been laid out, Jean Webber's article has a drawing of the post based on information gained from the archaelogical digs.
For Americans, this information is also found at the Okanogan County Museum.
Jean Webber goes on to tell us that after 1821, Fort Okanagan was relocated on the bank of the Columbia River, several miles to the south-east of the original post.
This fort was located at the "upper crossing" of the Columbia -- a crossing that could be used when the river waters were high.
The lower crossing downriver was used for swimming animals across the Columbia, or for pack trails or cattle drives.
The Fort Okanogan Interpretive Centre near Brewster, Washington, also has an old map of the fort.
It shows the latter Fort Okanogan sitting on the point of land between the Columbia River which flows in from the northwest, and the Okanogan River flowing in from the west.
Northwest of the fort is a range of hills running across the entire peninsula, labelled "Rocks and Hills," with the information there are rattlesnakes north of the hills.
Across the rivers (the Okanogan and the Columbia) from the fort, the map tells us there are Plains that contain Rattlesnakes.
But the point of land on which the fort stands -- called in this map, "Oakinagan Point," is "All Prairie ground and no Rattlesnakes."
Note the various spellings of Okanagan -- Canadians use Okanagan, Americans Okinogan, and the fur traders have many different spellings.
As I have said before, Alexander Caulfield Anderson always used "Okinagan," and he pronounced the word "O-kee-na-gan."
As you have seen from the above-mentioned map, this is Rattlesnake Country.
James, Alexander Anderson's son, had a few rattlesnakes stories, one of which I have already told you.
This second one has nothing really to do with Fort Okanogan, but it is definitely a rattlesnake story.
Mr. E. Bullock Webster, who had a ranch at Keremeos [in B.C. northwest of Fort Okanogan] in 1901, told this story to a mature James Anderson:
"He explained that during the dormant season the scorpions shared the dens of rattlesnakes, and in the springtime when the sun began to attain power, the snakes come out to the mouths of their dens in horrid coiling masses, the scorpions running over them and on apparently quite friendly terms.
"Mr. Webster described several of these dens in the rocky defiles of the mountains of Similkameen very graphically.
"One, which from all accounts received from Indians, seems to be the headquarters of the rattlesnakes in the vicinity, is situated in an ideal inferno, a wei[r]d defile that would have appealed to the imagination of Dore.
"It appears that Indians from superstitious motives do not kill snakes and from the same motives do not go near their dens.
"Mr. Webster, however, induced an old Indian to conduct him to the vicinity of the great den, which he did, but would not go nearer than about two hundred yards...
"Mr. Webster entered the horrid place alone.
"He said it was indescribably weird, the entrance to the den proper being partly stopped up with bunch grass, apparently carried there by the snakes presumably for protection against the cold.
"It was too late in the season, however, the snakes having all left for summer quarters and all that was to be seen were some skins that had been shed and a dead snake...."
I don't know about the scorpions mentioned in this story -- but it appears that Natives and fur traders alike had a dread of snakes, especially rattlesnakes.
I have a few rattlesnake stories to tell you when I get to Fort Colvile.
I think that Natives everywhere had a sense of humor and enjoyed startling or worrying the fur traders.
Certainly young James Anderson was startled!
Friday, October 29, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
With the help of three old maps and some articles published many years ago in the areas' historical journals, I have put together a rough map of this short section of brigade trail.
Modern day Washington state names appear on the left side of the page, in their approximate locations.
Oroville stands on the east side of the river below Osoyoos Lake; Horseshoe Lake is on the west side of the river.
Siwash Creek appears to be the modern name of the Upper or 2nd Bonaparte River, but I cannot discover the name of the Lower or 1st Bonaparte River from the poor quality maps I have on hand -- it might still be Bonaparte Creek.
Tonasket appears to sit between the mouths of the two Bonaparte Rivers, and the southernmost river might flow down from the benchlands behind the town.
Today's McLoughlin Canyon Road runs up the gulch the fur traders knew as McLoughlin's Canyon -- some names have not changed.
McLoughlin's Canyon was named for Chief Factor John McLoughlin of Fort Vancouver, of course.
The fur traders' Rat Lake is still unnamed; it will be some anonymous little pond close to the river bank, south of McLoughlin Canyon; it does not appear to be Omak Lake.
I think I have said that Omak Lake is southeast of the towns of Okanogan and Omak; possibly it lies on Riviere a la Grise -- which would make that river Omak River or Creek.
The "Dalles" (Box Canyon) southeast of Fort Okanogan appears to lie under Franklin Roosevelt Lake, which was formed by the massive Grand Coulee dam.
I won't really know the exact locations and names of these places until I get a good quality Washington State Land and Forests map.
The book, "River of Memory; the Everlasting Columbia," by William D. Layman, contains a good 1960 black and white photograph "At the Confluence of the Okanogan and Columbia Rivers," p. 69.
The author also tells us that the Okanogan River junction is 534 miles from the Pacific ocean, and 709 miles from the source of the Columbia River in British Columbia.
The book, "Northwest Passage; the Great Columbia River," by William Dietrich, contains some more interesting stories of the Grand Coulee dam, on the Columbia River near old Fort Okanogan.
Folksinger Woody Guthrie was a part of this story.
The building of the Grand Coulee dam was more or less comlete, but support for the building of the irrigation dams along the Columbia River Basin had evaporated.
"The Columbia is certainly a wonderful river," someone said -- "It waters four states and drains forty-eight!"
At the time that Woody Guthrie was brought to view the Grand Coulee Dam, he had not yet written the songs that would make him famous -- "This Land is your Land," and "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You."
It was April, 1941, and he was broke and living in his car with his wife and three children.
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) had made a film extolling the virtues of their Hydro projects -- they wanted a folksinger to sing songs that would appeal to the common man.
In the next thirty days,Guthrie drove up and down the Columbia River and wrote twenty six songs, including some of his most famous.
These included, "Roll on Columbia," "Grand Coulee Dam," "Way up in the Northwest," and "Pastures of Plenty" -- some of the most popular songs in the Pacific Northwest.
Guthrie saw that the damns provided jobs for labourers; generators provided power that would allow farmwives to work with electricity rather than kerosene light; and water so that the farmer could irrigate his crops.
His marriage broke up and his car was repossessed, but this was one of the most productive periods of Woody Guthrie's song-writing career.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The map above shows the information I have taken from Alexander Caulfield Anderson's 1867 map of British Columbia, which shows Fort Okanogan and the brigade trail leading northward up the Okanogan River.
As you can see, in this illustration the trail does follow the river bank quite closely.
The first information I posted on this piece of the brigade trail came from Anderson's 1858 map, drawn to guide the San Francisco gold miners north to the Fraser River goldfields.
The map was included in Anderson's book, Handbook and Map to the Gold Region of Frazer's and Thompson's Rivers (San Francisco, 1858).
But it was also printed separately and sold to gold miners who wanted to find their way north to the Fraser River gold fields.
The information on the map was taken from Anderson's maps, but I believe that Anderson did not draw this map.
The map was drawn from Anderson's information, by someone who had considerable art skills.
Either the publisher supplied an artist, or Anderson's brother-in-law, William Henry Tappan, drew that map.
The best information on the old Okanogan Trail comes from Judge William Brown's article, "Old Fort Okanogan and the Okanogan Trail," published in the Oregon Historical Society Journal in March 1914.
"A most interesting witness for the company is Mr. Alexander Caulfield Anderson, who had been in charge of the post for a number of years in the late forties and early fifties as a dependency of Colvile," he writes.
"He described the buildings in detail and testified to the value of the whole establishment.
"Among other things he said the stretch of country used for a horse range was in the shape of a triangle, each side of which was about 25 or 30 miles long.
"That it was bounded as follows, commencing at the mouth of the Okanogan River, thence up the Columbia to the Dalles (Box Canyon of the present time), thence along the range of hills to the "montee" on the Okanogan river, thence down the Okanogan to the mouth.
"Now where was the montee?" Brown asked. "No one now living knows as far as can be learned."
As you can see, Anderson's map shows where the montee was.
Do you know what a montee is?
As far as I know, it is a place where the fur traders mount their horses -- sometimes they continued their journey on horseback, and sometimes they did not.
When Anderson left Lachine House (Montreal) in 1832, travelling west to the Columbia district, he joined the Saskatchewan boats at Norway House on June 27th.
He travelled downriver to York Factory and returned with the Saskatchewan boats to Norway House in early August.
The Saskatchewan boats crossed the top of Lake Winnipeg in a heavy rainstorm, taking much risk in making this crossing according to later reports.
They passed through Cumberland House (near Prince Albert, Sask.), and reached Carlton House in early September.
Carlton House was on the North Saskatchewn River near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Upriver from Carlton House they reached the place the fur traders called "La Montee," where the gentlemen left the slow-moving boats in the hands of the voyageurs, and mounted Carlton House horses to hunt the buffalo that roamed in vast numbers over these plains.
Anderson had purchased the best gun he could afford when he entered the fur trade, and here he had the pleasure of shooting a buffalo!
For a few days the gentlemen returned every night to the voyageurs' camp on the river bank, keeping the men supplied with fresh meat from their hunt.
But when they came closer to Edmonton House, the senior gentlemen rode their horses straight across the plains to the fort, leaving the lowly apprentice-clerks behind with the slow-moving boats.
Judge Brown has more information in regard to the brigade trail, taken from the article mentioned above:
"Okanogan Point is the big flat of land at the junction of the Okanogan and Columbia; Ft. Okanogan stood there a long time.
"Okanogan Forks was the junction of the Similkameen and the Okanogan, where Oroville now stands...
"The course of the old Okanogan Trail was up the east side of the river.
"It started at the old fort and kept down along the river all the way till the points of rocks at McLoughlin's Canyon was reached.
"Then the trail climbed up into the gorge known as McLoughlin's canyon, passed through the same and came out on the benches beyond and reached the river bottom again just below the mouth of Bonaparte Creek, near where the town of Tonasket is now.
"Up till about six or eight years ago the old trail was as plain as ever in many places."
It sounds as if the trail disappeared about one hundred years ago.
In his Guide to the Goldfields, published in San Francisco in 1858, Anderson has more information about the old trail.
Remember, he is guiding gold miners north from Grand Coulee to the old Okanogan brigade trail.
"...the trail strikes the Columbia a few miles from the Grand Coulee.
"Ferrying at the fort [Okinagan] (the horse being swum), the trail ascends the Okinagan River, cutting points here and there, as shown in the sketch."
His estimate of distances gives us a bit more information:
"From the Okinagan to Forks of Similk-a-meen: 60 miles."
His "Estimate of March from the Priests' Rapids Crossing to the Forks of Thompson's River," includes this information -- on their sixth day they would reach Fort Okinagan:
On the 7th day, Riviere a la Grise, or Rat Lake;
On the 8th, Upper Bonaparte's River;
On the 9th, Forks of Similk-a-meen.
"It may be noted here that, throughout the distance, there are no obstacles to an easy march, beyond those that I have endeavoured to note.
"Pasture and water are plentiful, and fuel, for the greater part of the distance, likewise abounds.
"Along the Columbia, the country is bare of timber; elsewhere the valleys are clear, the hills sparsely timbered with the Colvile Red Pine (pinus ponderosa)."
Friday, October 8, 2010
Above I have shown another version of the Okanogan brigade trail south of Osoyoos Lake, leading down the east side of the Okanogan River to the post at the junction of the river with the Columbia.
In this map the brigade trail appears to follow the river's edge much more closely than in Anderson's map.
Vaseaux Lake is at the top, and Osoyoos Lake just south of that.
The word "Barriere" at the bottom of Osoyoos Lake, close to the mouth of the Similkameen River, indicates the presence of a traditional Native fishing weir called by the French-Canadians and fur traders alike a "barriere."
In his 1858 book, Handbook and Map to the Gold Region of Frazer's and Thompson's River, Anderson noted that it was "good policy to supply the chiefs with a little tobacco, to smoke with his followers.
"Good will is thus cheaply secured."
The Canadian Okanagan River was once a beautiful wild salmon stream, with thousands of fish returning every year to spawn in its winding stream and natural gravel beds.
Natives came from miles around to spear salmon in Okanagan Falls, at the south end of modern day Skaha Lake (the fur traders' Dog Lake).
But since the 1920's, the Canadian Okanagan River has been channelled into a system of dams and canals for irrigation purposes.
The Okanagan River Falls were silenced, the river rapids were flooded, and the Native fisheries that existed above McIntyre Bluff died.
South of Vaseaux Lake, the McIntyre dam blocked returning salmon and forced them to spawn in the stream's natural gravel beds near Oliver, B.C.
But these were tough, adaptable fish, and the few thousand salmon who swam the thousand miles from the Pacific Ocean to spawn in this river fought their way up fish ladders built into the nine hydroelectric dams that blocked the Columbia.
Because of these massive dams many other Columbia River salmon runs died, but the salmon who spawned in the Canadian Okanagan River always returned, though in ever declining numbers.
A few years ago Native leaders of the Okanagan tribes worked with the Federal Fisheries Department and the British Columbia Ministry responsible for the river, and raised one million salmon hatchlings for release in the Okanagan River upstream from the McIntyre Dam.
The fish will swim downriver for the Pacific Ocean and return in four years time.
At the end of these four years, these men hope to have a fish passageway constructed where the McIntyre dam blocks the river, to allow the salmon to return and spawn in the upper Okanagan River and Skaha Lake.
The Native men and government officials are also studying the lower part of the river, hoping to move the dikes and allow the river to wander across its natural valley, as it used to do.
It's an exciting project, and when the Okanagan Natives sing to their salmon from the river banks, other people now join them in their celebration.
With thanks to columnist Mark Hume for this story.
It was published in the Globe and Mail newspaper under the title "B.C.'s miracle of the Fishes," Tuesday, May 24, 2005.
As we continue downriver we notice that the trail on this map appears to follow the east banks of the American Okanogan River more closely than shown in Anderson's map.
I also need to clarify something I said on my earlier posting:
It was not Anderson who said that the fur traders passed by Horsehoe Lake and Omak Lake.
These are not old names, but modern names (I think).
But there is probably a good reason for there not being good records of the travels south of Osoyoos Lake -- the gentlemen who led out the brigades rode ahead of their men down the trail and waited for their arrival at Fort Okanogan.
At least in Peter Warren Dease's journal of the Brigade from New Caledonia to Fort Vancouver, 1831, that appears to be the case:
"Got to the narrows of Little Lake Okanagan [Osoyoos Lake] where we found Indians who lent us Canoes to cross the Baggage....
"The travelling from this to the Columbia being fine without any dangerous places, with a view of having Every thing prepared at Okanagan for Embarkation -- I left the Brigade in Charge of Gregoire and with Lolo proceeded to the Fort where I arrived at 2 P.M. and had the pleasure of finding C.T. Black with Mr. Kittson and the Brigade from Upper Posts...."
His own brigade arrived the next day so the journey south from Osoyoos Lake took only one day, and there was only one night's campsite.
Likely this campsite was made at Rat Lake, as this place is especially noted on both maps drawn by the fur traders Anderson and Black.
(The above quotes came from James R. Gibson's Lifeline of the Oregon Country; the Fraser-Columbia Brigade System, 1811-47, published by UBC Press a few years ago -- and the above mentioned Peter Warren Dease was the brother of the John Warren Dease mentioned in my last posting, according to Anderson).
On their return journey the brigade went a short distance from Fort Okanogan and camped because of an accident, and made their second camp on the northernmost Bonaparte River.
Aha! In another journal in this same book (Lifeline of the Oregon Country) I found confirmation that the gentlemen tended to ride ahead of the brigades to Fort Okanogan.
In William Connolly's Journal of 1826, the horses "were allowed to rest at the Little Okanagan Lake [Osoyoos Lake], from whence we proceeded in the afternoon to the Bariere, or entrance of Okanagan river, where we encamped after having crossed the property & horses to the opposite shore...... No danger either by accident, or otherwise, being to be apprehended between this & Okanagan, I left the Brigaede in charge of Messrs. [James] Douglas & Pambrun, and with one Man proceeded for that place where, after a pretty hard ride, I arrived at five o'clock PM..."
On his return journey, Connolly wrote, "This morning I left Okanagan & overtook the brigade at seven oclock -- Mr. Douglas who encamped with it last night was going on as well as could be expected .... After proceeding a distance of about 21 Miles we Encamped near the River de la Guere."
The next day, "at an early hour the Horses were caught & loaded without much trouble, and few of them seemed inclined to repeat the pranks of the two preceding days.... We made today about 22 miles [but no information on camping place.]
The following day, "At four o'clock AM .. we proceeded from our encampment -- passed two Rivulets one of which is distinguished by the name of Bonaparte -- and at eleven reached the Bariere, or entrance of the Okanagan river, which we crossed by means of Canoes we hired from a small party of Indians we found here."
None of these maps tells me where Riviere de la Guere is.
In my French dictionary, the word "guere" translates as "not much," so it is possibly a creek.
By the way, Riviere Grise appears to translate as Grey River, but we might also apply another translation to it -- the verb griser means "to intoxicate."
Is that where the gentlemen handed out the traditional regale, or pint of rum, on the first night of travel?
It was also a tradition that when a brigade left a post they travelled only a short distance before camping, so that if something was discovered missing a man could return to the post to pick it up.
That might explain why their first camp appears to be so close to Fort Okanogan, if their first camp is R.Grise.
But I have wandered away from clarifying my information about Horseshoe and Omak Lake, as mentioned in my last posting.
I believe these are modern names, not names from the fur trade.
The names of the lakes came from a "Table of Distances Between Camps Fort Okanogan, Washington to Alexandria, British Columbia (mileages according to Chief Trader A.C. Anderson), contained in the book about the Okanagan brigade trails, written by Harley R. Hatfield and friends.
In this tables they suggest that the trail was as follows:
From Fort Okanogan to Omak? [their question mark] = 24 miles;
From Omak to Tonasket? (lower Bonaparte R) = 24 miles;
From Tonasket or lower Bonaparte River to Horseshoe Lake? = 25 miles.
Again the question mark after Horseshoe Lake is theirs.
These men tramped all over the Canadian Okanagan in search of the trail, but I don't believe they went south of the border to discover the American section of the trail.
I think they perused the maps they had available -- the same maps I have shown in this blog -- and guessed at the places where the American section of the trail would have been.
After my last week's posting Ted Murray sent me a map that showed Horsehoe Lake, south of Oroville, WA.
It appears to be a loop of the Okanagan River cut off by the river flow, and it is on the west side of the river.
As we know the fur traders followed the east bank of the river we can assume they may have stopped in the area near modern-day Horseshoe Lake, on the banks of the Okanagan River itself.
The town of Tonasket is on the east bank of the Okanagan River, with Siwash Creek to the north and Bonaparte to the south -- it probably sits between the two Bonaparte Rivers shown on the fur traders' maps.
Omak Lake lies well east of the Okanagan river and south east of the town of Okanagan and its airport.
The fur traders left the river bank and rode straight south to cut off the curve of the river to the west.
Of course this trail might have changed its route many times over its years of use, the same way our British Columbia trails have changed.
Is there anyone in the Washington area now exploring and geo-mapping this Okanogan trail?
In British Columbia a great deal of work is being done in preserving our trails, and there is talk in some quarters of forming a Friends of the Brigade Trails organization.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
The fur traders continued their journey south, riding southward along the west shore of Osoyoos Lake toward Fort Okanogan.
You will now notice the different spelling of the post.
Americans spell the word Okanogan but Canadians spell it Okanagan.
But when Alexander Caulfield Anderson first entered the territory west of the mountains in late October 1832, he learned to pronounce this fort's name "O-kee-na-gan," and spelled it Okinagan.
That is the spelling he used for the rest of his life, and he probably continued to pronounce the word the way he first learned to say it.
You will see that as they passed by Osoyoos Lake, the fur traders passed the 49th parallel of latitude, into what they called The Debated Territory.
In 1840, the boundary line between United States, and British-owned territory claimed by the Hudson's Bay Company, had been surveyed only as far as the east side of the Rocky Mountains, and Britain and United States shared ownership of the Columbia River basin.
Other than the Natives and a few American free-traders or trappers, the British fur traders and their employees were almost the only occupants of this territory.
As I told you in an earlier posting, Tea River (near the top of the map) was a regular campsite for the brigaders -- its modern-day name is Tesalinden Creek.
At Osoyoos Lake you can see Hudson's Bay company trails leading to the west, over the hump of land to follow the Similkameen River to the west -- this is the brigade trail that the Fort Colvile men used after 1848, but it was also a trail that the Natives in the district, and the fur traders, used regularly.
To the east of Osoyoos Lake is the Fort Colvile brigade trail that climbs over Anarchist Mountain, to cross Rock Creek and follow the Kettle River to the Columbia River.
Anderson called the Kettle River "Dease's River" on this 1858 map, and he continued to call it Dease's River on his 1867 map of British Columbia.
Dease's River would have been named for John Warren Dease, who worked in the Columbia District before Anderson arrived, and who certainly knew Anderson's father-in-law, James Birnie.
In his essay, "History of the Northwest Coast," Anderson wrote of John Warren Dease, who "...died at Fort Colvile on the Columbia River in 1830, and was buried in the Fort Vancouver cemetery, near the spot where the U.S. Garrison buildings were afterwards erected."
Twenty five miles south of Tea Creek was a place called Horseshoe Lake, where the brigaders camped again.
We can only speculate where Horseshoe Lake was -- I don't have a good map of this part of the world.
But according to Anderson's 1867 map of British Columbia, it might be a lake on the upper reaches of the Upper Bonaparte River (on that map the river has two branches and the lake appears to be on the northermost branch.)
Their next camp might be on the lower Bonaparte River; then they camped at a place they called Omak.
My modern day map of Washington State shows Omak Lake (and Omak River), quite a large lake lying east of the town of Omak, Wa., in the Colville Indian Reservation.
That might be the Rat Lake shown on our map above.
According to James Gibson, author of "The Lifeline of the Oregon Country; The Fraser-Columbia Brigade System, 1811-47 (UBC Press, 1997), it took eight days to ride the distance between Thompson's River (Kamloops) and Fort Okanogan.
But he does not have any information on the camping places along the brigade trail, unfortunately.
When the fur traders rode into Fort Okanogan, they unloaded their horses and turned them loose to graze for the summer.
The rest of the journey to Fort Vancouver would be made by boat, not horseback, and the fur traders must await the arrival of the Fort Colvile men who brought down their furs in boats.
Anderson would not be with the fur traders arriving at Fort Okanogan.
The outgoing brigades always sent men on horseback to Fort Colvile, to help the men bringing the boats downriver.
In 1840, clerks Archibald McKinlay and Alexander Anderson were sent by the Dease River trail to Fort Colvile, to join the boatmen travelling south to Fort Okanogan.
It was unlikely they would paddle the boats, and more likely they were placed in charge of a boat, responsible for the men and loads on their downward journey to Fort Okanogan.
When Alexander Caulfield Anderson took charge of Fort Colvile district eight years later, the tiny Fort Okinagan was one of three or four posts under his command.
By that time, the Fort Colvile men were taking their furs to Fort Langley by the Similkameen River brigade trail (which we will speak of in a later posting).
But Fort Okanogan was still occupied, and the man in charge was a French-Canadian named Joachim Lafleur.
In his memoirs, Anderson's son, James, described Lafleur's important position in Fort Colvile's outgoing 1851 brigade, and his fear of snakes:
"Next [after the gentleman leading the brigade] is a superior servant whose duty it is to keep up communication between the officer in charge and the brigade.
"This personage on the occasion of which I write was a French Canadian called La Fleur whose inordinate fear of snakes used to cause us much amusement.
"A dead rattlesnake which my father had one day killed and hung on a bush was the cause of great excitement.
"La Fleur on coming up to it, immediately set spurs to his horse and on his appearing in sight, riding furiously and waving his arms, the natural supposition was that the brigade had been attacked.
"'Un couleuvre monsier' explained the situation....