08 Jun Grand Portage National Monument
The Grand Portage National Monument is on of the main stages where the Fur trade took place in the late 1700’s During that time, it was a distribution center where in the summer thousands of people from the north would come down also known as voyagers and would meet the top people of the North West company here. The people from the North West Company would be coming from Montreal, in their 40 foot canoes carrying goods from across the world. This included tools, vermillion and tea from China, glass from Mexico, alcohol and luxury clothing from Europe.
There are a few different canoes that were used in this period. The North canoe is about 25 feet long that can hold up to two tons of furs. These canoes would come from the north, traveling the Grand Portage, which is an 8 mile trail from Fort Charlotte on the border of Canada and the U.S.. Another type of boat, the Montreal Canoe, was never built around here. The North West company would see how the natives built their canoe and would expand on how they could make improve the design for their own needs. . They made them up to 40 feet long and that can hold up to 4 tons of cargo. These canoes would bringing the goods from across the world.
Every couple of years the program gets to build a canoe, and this year is a lucky year where we get to start building one. In the historical building called the Canoe Warehouse, we have the outline of how long it is going to be and the spruce root to tie the birch bark together. The canoe is going to be about 8 feet long. This particular type of canoe was used amongst the Native Americans in this region. Over the past couple of years, things started to change a little, we went from the park being all talk about the fur trade and the voyagers to exploring a more native history within the monument.