Factoid 10

Greetings! Your eagle eye, intrepid spirit, and trusty smartphone have led you to some bonus information this holiday season!

We’ve hidden ten QR Codes throughout the site, each one linking to a different holiday-related anecdote.

Now you can thrill your friends and family with amazing factoids of how of Christmas and New Year's Day were celebrated at Fort Vancouver in the past!

Factoid 10

The celebratory spirit fostered by the many Christmas dinners continued to grow as balls, dances, and parties lasted well into the evening at the HBC's Fort Vancouver.

Inside the walls of the fort, activities such as card parties involving whist and other games seem to have dominated, while outside the stockade a different level of merriment ensued.

Visitors to the area both noted and enhanced the party-like atmosphere. “Most gloriously drunk” was how American Joel Palmer described the attendees of a party hosted by sailors aboard the visiting HMS Modeste. “[J]udging from the noise kept up until ten at night, they were a jolly set of fellows,” he exclaimed.

Inside the fort, the activities were different. “On shore we had nothing better to do than amuse ourselves at cards,” bemoaned HBC clerk Thomas Lowe.

Source: Gregory P. Shine, “A General Time of Indulgence and Festivity”: Early Winter Holiday Celebrations at the Vancouver National Historic Reserve.

Last updated: March 31, 2012

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