In September 1812, a group of settlers recruited by Lord Selkirk to establish a colony near the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers continued south along the Red River to its junction with the Pembina River, where it would be easier to obtain winter food from local Metis bison hunters. On the north bank of the Pembina stood Fort Pembina, a fur trading facility of the North West Company. The Selkirk Settlers occupied the south bank and there set up makeshift huts that they named Fort Daer in honour of Dunbar James Douglas, the Sixth Earl of Selkirk (1809-1885), eldest son of Lord Selkirk. The settlers returned to the future site of the Red River Settlement the following spring. Fort Daer enabled the settlement to survive their first winter and subsequently establish what became Winnipeg.
After an 1818 treaty between Great Britain and the United States concluded that the border between Canada and the US lay along the 49th line of latitude, putting Fort Daer in American territory, the facility was abandoned. A marker at the former fort site was erected in 1948 by the Pembina County Pioneer Daughters.
Map of Fort Daer site (1800s)
Source: Nan Shipley Fonds, Box 16, File 8, University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.
Fort Daer commemorative monument (May 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough
Site Coordinates (lat/long): N48.96544, W97.24051
denoted by symbol on the map above
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Emerson Customs Building / Pembina-Emerson Area Plaque (Emerson, Municipality of Emerson-Franklin)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Pembina Trail Monument (973 Red River Drive, RM of Ritchot)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Abandoned Manitoba
Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Douglas, Fifth Earl of Selkirk [Lord Selkirk] (1771-1820)
The Centennial History of Manitoba by James A. Jackson, Toronto: Manitoba Historical Society & McClelland and Stewart, 1970.
We thank Ed Ledohowski for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 17 February 2021
Historic Sites of Manitoba
This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. The information is offered for historical interest only.
Inclusion in this collection does not confer special status or protection. Official heritage designation may only come from municipal, provincial, or federal governments. Some sites are on private property and permission to visit must be secured from the owner.
Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.
Send corrections and additions to this page
to the MHS Webmaster at email@example.com.
Help us keep history alive!