Fort Ostell

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Fort Ostell (1885-1885) - A fort established in 1885 during the North West Rebellion by Captain John B. Ostell, 65th Battalion Mount Royal Rifles, Alberta Field Force, near present day Ponoka, Alberta, Canada. Named for Captain Ostell, commander of the post. Abandoned later in 1885.

Fort Ostell Museum Model
Fort Ostell Museum
Fort Ostell Roadside Marker

History of Fort Ostell

Fort Ostell was one of three small forts quickly built during the short lived 1885 North West Rebellion (aka Riel Rebellion) to protect settlers and the Calgary to Edmonton Road.

Fort Ostell - 03.jpg

1. Entrance
2. Sentry-box
3. Flag Pole
4. Soldier Text
5. Guard Tent
6. Kitchen

7. Officers Quarters
8. Oven
9. Bakers Tent
10. Captain's Tent
11. Stables
12. Trench

13. Canals
14. Movable Bridge
15. Moat
16. Palisade
17. Earthworks

The North West Rebellion was an uprising by some settlers, First Nations and Metis peoples against the Canadian Dominion Government that was accompanied by some acts of violence. Major General Thomas B. Strange in command of the Alberta Field Force established Fort Normandeau at Red Deer, Fort Ostell at Ponoka and Fort Ethier north of Wetaskiwin as a precautionary step to discourage local participation in the rebellion.

Fort Ostell was built in May 1885 around a former Hudson's Bay Company post that had been looted. Captain Ostell and his men constructed the post as a six sided defense with the HBC building at the center. The Captain and his men were housed in four tents, two at each end of the building. The interior of the post had a series of canals with movable bridges across them. The whole post was surrounded with an abbatis (sharpened poles facing the enemy).

The post was garrisoned during May-June 1885 and then abandoned by the troops when the threat of conflict subsided.

Current Status

No remains. Roadside marker at the southern end of Ponoka, Alberta. Information and displays at the Fort Ostell Museum. Displays include a small model of the fort and a picture of Captain Ostell. Information at the museum identifies the location of the post as "in the farm field just south of the County Dump sight (sic) at the south end of Ponoka". The legal description of the site of the HBC post is S.W. 5-43-25 W 4th.

Location: Ponoka, Alberta, Canada. Map Points are the Museum and Marker locations. The fort map point is approximate.

Maps & Images

Lat: 52.68138 Long: -113.58417

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: .....'

See Also:



Visited: 13 Jul2014

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