Thursday, 22 March 2012

Revillon Freres in La Loche

The Revillon Freres Post in La Loche June 30-July 2, 1918  from Canada Archives (colourized version) with Dene Chipewyan teepees gathered for a 'summer mission'.. 
This photo is in the following book by Franklin Kitto published in 1919. The photo was probably taken during his visit between June 30-July 2, 1918.         ...view Franklin Kitto's book

Fur trading operation (wikipedia article)

In 1899 Revillon Frères opened a wholesale warehouse in Edmonton, Alberta and by 1903 had 23 stores across Canada.  Revillon Frères eventually set up a network of fur-trading posts in northern Canada in direct competition with the Hudson's Bay Company composed of an eastern division and a western division.
The western division included posts mostly in northern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In 1911 the company had 13 posts north and west of Athabasca Landing. Having acquired a depot in Prince Albert in 1904 they had an additional 10 posts from The Pas to Brochet and Nueltin Lake at the edge of the tundra.
Revillon Freres  had a post in La Loche from 1906 to 1936. The company was sold to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1936. The HBC used the old Revillon buildings until they built a new store on the property in the 1950s after a fire destroyed their post in West La Loche (Portage La Loche) in 1936. The first post office of La Loche in 1926 was located in the Revillon Freres post. The postmaster was Thomas Batchelor.
...from The History of La Loche "Fur Trade Posts"
Revillon Freres Post in La Loche January 1907. "The temperature is said to be 60 below."

The Canada Census of 1906 shows a Solomon Ballentyne (28 years old) as the agent of this post. He  was 
accompanied by his wife Mary (25 years old)
Revillon Freres Post in La Loche January 1907. "Living house for men, Simon Bourwick on the right"

Revillon Freres Post in La Loche January 1907. "Metis trader holding a silver fox fur."
A photo by Samuel Hubert Coward.

The four La Loche photos on this page were found at three different sites with 3 different dates.
Glenbow Archives shows a date of January 1907 for their two photos.
The McCord Museum photo is obviously part of this set. 
The Canada Archives photo with the Dene/Chipewyan tents taken in La Loche 
shows a building identical to the Revillon building in one of the Glenbow Archive photos.

This next photo shows La Loche in 1935.  The Revillon Freres post buildings are on the
right half of the photo and the Catholic mission buildings are on the left.

Revillon Freres financed the 1922 film "Nanook of the North".  A small section of the 86 minute film can be viewed below.

 Revillon Freres 1907 advertisement