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Andrew Legg brings Trader Tales back to Fort Whoop Up

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Lethbridge has a  fascinating wild west history, back when Fort Whoop Up was operating circa 1870, so local actor and director 

Andrew Legg is excited to bring Trader Tales back to Fort Whoop Up this summer. Photo by Richard Amery

Andrew Legg has dug up stories about the more interesting characters who hung around Fort Whoop up for a brand new Trader Tales, July 23 at the Fort.


“ Fort Whoop Up was only around for  a really short period of time,” said Andrew Legg, who  dug into the history once his production of  A MidSummer Night‘s Dream for The Lethbridge Shakespeare performance Society was well underway.


“ So I’ve been researching a 10 year block around 1870,” he said adding he learned stories about Fort Whoop up Founder  J J Healy and Jerry Potts and some of the more interesting characters who came to Southern Alberta from Montana, mostly, looking  to make their fortunes by trading supplies and whiskey to First Nations in exchange for buffalo robes when the fort was founded in 1869 at  the intersection of the St. Mary and Belly River, now known as the Oldman River.


 The actual Fort was actually located outside of  Lethbridge near the airport rather than in the coulee where the current replica is located.

“ We had a lot of really interesting characters here. it really was the wild west,” Legg said.


“ We had Dave Cochrane and old Bill Gladstone who built the Fort and mountain man Liver Eating Johnson ,” he said, adding some of this season’s Trader’s Tales are amalgamations of several different characters.


He has also been learning how to play the music of the era to accompany his Trader Tales.


“ I found out about a really popular Vaudeville show. I found 32 separate scripts,” he said, adding he has been trying to learn to play the banjo styles of the era.

“ That was a bizarre time period. it literally was the wild west,” he said.


 He will also be performing a version of his new Trader Tales or Arts in The Park, Aug. 7 and will be back at  Fort Whoop Up, Aug. 20.


Trader Tales is at 6 p.m. Tickets are $45  including dinner, a tour of the Fort, wagon rides and a cash bar.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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