Factoid 8

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 8

One of the day’s highlights was the Christmas dinner. Perhaps the grandest of these dinners was that of the HBC’s officers. On Christmas day at three o’clock, an extraordinary feast would take place within the fort, featuring traditional English fare such as roast beef and plum pudding.

Often, there would be several lavish dinners held throughout the day. In 1845, sailors from the Royal Navy’s HMS Modeste hosted “a Christmas feast that the table groaned under,” according to Thomas Lowe.

In 1849, HBC officers joined the recently-arrived U.S. Army officers at their dining hall, located north of Fifth Street near the Park Road. In the eyes of the HBC attendees, something important was missing. “They gave us a temperance – or rather total abstinence – dinner, which none of us relished much. Made up for it however on our return Home,” exclaimed Thomas Lowe sardonically.

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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