Factoid 9

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 9

Indeed, alcohol played a major role in fur trade-era celebrations. For the HBC officers, one clerk recounted that “the wine was freely circulated” at Christmas dinner and intoxication often resulted. “The ladies all behaved well,” noted fort visitor Letitia Hargrave, “only my friend Betsy ‘got dronk’ as she told me and was carried home.”

For the working class, rum was the drink of choice; it lubricated a welcome rest from the rigors of work, and ensured that the “ranting and frolicking” observed by Joel Palmer at 1845’s Christmas was sure to follow.

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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