North West Company Fur Post - A Trip to the early 1800's on Snake River

July 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Just a few miles outside of Pine City, Minnesota sits an historic site found by chance. The 1804 fur post of the North West Company.  

North West Co. Trading PostNorth West Co. Trading PostRecreation of the 1804 fur trading post, created from evidence found in excavation of the site in the 1960's. Evidence of the post was found in the early 1930's, when a boy brought home some interesting looking "rocks". His father recognized them as flints for rifles, and decades later, in the 1960's, excavation of the site led the Minnesota Historical Society in their accurate reconstruction of the post. The journal of John Sayer, the posts manager, helped further recreate life there as they traded with the Ojibwe tribe along the Snake River. 

North West Co. Trading Post - FursNorth West Co. Trading Post - FursFurs were brought by the Ojibwe to trade with the Northwest Company for other goods. Anything from cooking utensils to cloth. Furs were brought by the Ojibwe to trade with the North West Company for other goods. Anything from cooking utensils to cloth. Each of the furs had different values, with Beaver having the most. For each fur, the Native would be given a credit for other goods. 

North West Co. Trading Post - Beaver PeltsNorth West Co. Trading Post - Beaver PeltsBeaver Pelts were worth more than others because they were used to make expensive hats and clothing. Here at the post the company would spend the winter trading with the tribe for wild rice, maple sugar and meat in addition to the furs. John Sayer married the Chief's daughter earlier, and established close bonds with the Ojibwe tribe, who viewed the transactions as gifts between friends. 

North West Co. Trading Post, MN - Trade Room - 2North West Co. Trading Post, MN - Trade Room - 2 There's a lot to learn about here at this most excellent historic site, with very knowledgeable re-enactors who give guided tours that really take you back to the early 1800's.  Our tour guide portrayed a French Canadian company man complete with the french language if you wanted him too. 

North West Co. Trading Post - GuideNorth West Co. Trading Post - GuideThis historical site gives excellent tours with re-enactors who really take you back to the 1800's.

We learned about the Ojibwe and how the women of the tribe were essential and valorized members of their community, and how in marriage the couple would take on complementary roles.

North West Co. Trading Post, MN - Ojibwe Living Quarters - 2North West Co. Trading Post, MN - Ojibwe Living Quarters - 2 We also learned how the tribe named the river Kanabec or Snake, for their enemy, the Dakota.

North West Co. Trading Post - Snake verNorth West Co. Trading Post - Snake River

While here you'll be taken through a tribes camp on your way to the fur post.  Then at the post, you'll learn about each room and the roles of the company employee's, the way they lived and played. 

North West Co. Trading Post, MN - Bunk RoomNorth West Co. Trading Post, MN - Bunk Room

You can read more about North West Company Fur Trading Post in our Article Here.

Read more about the Ojibwe Native Tribe Here.

Learn more about this excellent site on the National Historical Register via the Minnesota Historical Society's website HERE. Be sure to check out some of their signature events to enhance your visit even more.  Kathy and I want to thank everyone at the Historical Society and Museum for a wonderful experience!

Here are some of the views that caught our eye while there. 


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...
Subscribe
RSS
Archive
January February March April May (1) June July August September (1) October November December
January February (3) March (1) April May June July August September October November (1) December
January February March April May June July August (7) September (6) October November December
January (1) February (4) March (2) April May June July August September October (3) November December
January February March April May June (2) July (6) August (1) September October November (1) December
January (4) February (1) March April May June July August September October November December