Snake River Fur Post

Snake River Fur Post

The North West Company’s fur post on the Snake River. The historic site, administered by the Minnesota Historical Society, is a recreation of the trading post that operated here over in 1804 and 1805. The voyageurs who serviced it (and others in the St. Croix River basin), paddled and portaged a route from Lake Superior, up the Bois Brule River, down the Namekagon River, and into the St. Croix. Photo by Jon Lurie, 2020.

Recreation of the North West Company depot at Grand Portage

Recreation of the North West Company depot at Grand Portage

A recreation of the North West Company depot at Grand Portage. Here, voyageurs from Montreal (known as “Montreal men”) and their comrades from the interior (known as “north men”) would meet for Rendezvous, the annual mid-summer company meeting and celebration. Directly behind this fort is the 8.5-mile Grand Portage. Photo by Jon Lurie, 2020.

Raccoon hide

Raccoon hide

Tanned raccoon hide used at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading post in Onamia, Minnesota. Created no earlier than 1918.

Tanned beaver pelt

Tanned beaver pelt

Tanned beaver hide marked "HA" on the flesh side with numerous discontinuous small holes to form the letters. "HA" are probably the initials of Harry Ayer. Date unknown but before 1959. Ayer was the original proprietor of the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post in Onamia, Minnesota, in which this pelt was found. The object is probably Ojibwe in origin.

Spun brass kettle

Spun brass kettle

Spun brass kettle brought to Minnesota as a trade item and distributed to the Ojibwe. It was excavated from an underwater site in 1961 but was likely made ca. 1830 or earlier.

Tanned muskrat pelts

Tanned muskrat pelts

Muskrat fur pelts on display at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading post in Onamia, Minnesota. Created no earlier than 1918.

Fur Trade in Minnesota

The North American fur trade began around 1500 off the coast of Newfoundland and became one of the most powerful industries in US history. In Minnesota country, the Dakota and the Ojibwe traded in alliance with the French from the 1600s until the 1730s, when Ojibwe warriors began to drive the Dakota from their homes in the Mississippi Headwaters region. Afterward, the Dakota continued trading in the south while Montreal traders and their Ojibwe allies established a network of trading posts in the north. For the next 120 years, the fur trade dominated the region’s economy and contributed to the development of a unique multicultural society.

Front view of Iron Man Memorial

Front view of Iron Man Memorial

Front view of the Iron Man Memorial, Chisholm. Photo by Suzanne Rian, October 2020.

Side view of the Iron Man Memorial, Chisholm

Side view of the Iron Man Memorial, Chisholm

Side view of the Iron Man Memorial, Chisholm. Photograph by Pete Markham, April 22, 2009. CC BY-SA 2.0

Iron Man statue on top of the Iron Man Memorial

Iron Man statue on top of the Iron Man Memorial, Chisholm

The Iron Man statue on top of the Iron Man Memorial, Chisholm. Photo by Pete Markham, April 22, 2009.

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