On April 15, 1885, 250 Cree warriors descended on Fort Pitt. They intercepted a police scouting party, killing a constable, wounding another, and captured a third. Surrounded and outnumbered, garrison commander Francis Dickens (son of famed novelist Charles Dickens) capitulated and agreed to negotiate with the attackers. Big Bear released the remaining 23 police officers to flee downriver but kept the townspeople as hostages and destroyed the fort. Six days later, Inspector Dickens and his men reached safety at Battleford.
Fort Pitt was two separate facilities of different eras. Built in 1829 it served as a stopping point half way on the Carlton Red River Cart Trail between Fort Carlton and Fort Edmonton. It accidentally burned around 1873 and the second, replacement facility was constructed about 100 meters west, being only a collection of buildings without a defensive palisade. Today there is some interpretive development which includes descriptive signage. This was destroyed in the siege and sacking of the Fort on April 14, 1885 during the North West Resistance.
Today, the park contains the archaeological remains of two different posts. Interpretive panels explain the post’s history and a National Historic Sites and Monuments plaque commemorates Big Bear and the signing of Treaty Six.
Picnic tables, toilets and canoe access to the river are located in the park.