"Birdseye view of Rampart House, spring 1919." Claude took this photo from the heights across the Porcupine River.
Yukon Archives: #7592
Claude experienced the true North while stationed at New Rampart House, a post deep in Gwitchin traditional territory. New Rampart House had its origins in the fur trade. After abandoning Fort Yukon shortly after the Americans purchased Alaska, the Hudson's Bay established the first Rampart House further to the east on the Porcupine River. As it turned out, this post - sometimes referred to as Old Rampart House - was also in American territory. The final Rampart House, or New Rampart House, was built just inside Canadian territory.
The Cadzow residence at New Rampart House. Dan Cadzow and his wife, Rachel, a Gwitchin woman, were central figures in the community.
Yukon Archives: #7627
Despite its best efforts, the HBC failed to achieve a decent return on
its investment in the region and abandoned the post in 1894. Eleven years
later, a trader named Dan Cadzow launched his own independent post at
New Rampart House and succeeded where HBC had failed.
For Gwitchin people in the area, and even for the more-distant Inuit, Cadzow's well-stocked post proved to be a real boon. But the good times didn't last. In 1911 smallpox struck in t
Inuit couple with their child. Claude refers to the man as “Husky Charlie.”
Yukon Archives: #7063
he area. As well, because the post was within 1,200 metres of the newly established border, First Nations hunters and trappers encountered legal difficulties. Their quarry moved freely between American territory and Canadian; hunters suddenly discovered that they were subject to the laws of two jurisdictions. [Shelagh Beairsto to Hannah Netro Rampart House: Stories told by our elders 1993] Some Vuntut Gwitchin families moved away and up the Porcupine River to join the handful already established at Old Crow