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Fur Trade

For over two centuries, the North American fur trade brought American Indians and European-Canadians together in the mutual enterprise of exchanging native trapped furs for European manufactured goods. By the 1790s, the Montreal-based North West Company had extended its fur trade network from the St. Lawrence River valley to beyond the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Scattered across a vast network of waterways were over 100 wintering posts, each located near Indian hunting and trapping camps that were the main source of furs.

In the fall of 1804, John Sayer, a partner of the North West Company and his crew departed from Fort St. Louis, near modern-day Superior, Wis. Sayer originally intended to build a post near Cross Lake, but the location for his wintering operations changed to a site two miles up the Snake River, after he conferred with local Ojibwe leaders.

Learn more about the North West Company Fur Post

Events at the North West Company Fur Post

 

Books
 
Black Felt Top Hat

Black Felt Top Hat

Canoe Manned by Voyageurs Passing a Waterfall

Canoe Manned by Voyageurs Passing a Waterfall

Canoes in a Fog, Lake Superior

Canoes in a Fog, Lake Superior

Cow Horn Spoon

Cow Horn Spoon

Fire Starting Kit

Fire Starting Kit

Great Lakes Fur Trade Coloring Book

Great Lakes Fur Trade Coloring Book

Picture Rock at Crooked Lake

Picture Rock at Crooked Lake

Songs of the Voyageurs

Songs of the Voyageurs

St. Croix River of Dreams

St. Croix River of Dreams

Tin Mug

Tin Mug

Topographical Sketch of Fort St. Anthony (Fort Snelling), 1823

Topographical Sketch of Fort St. Anthony (Fort Snelling), 1823

Trade Silver Ball and Cone Earrings

Trade Silver Ball and Cone Earrings

Trade Silver Beaver Pendant

Trade Silver Beaver Pendant

Trade Silver Circle Brooch with Hearts

Trade Silver Circle Brooch with Hearts

Trade Silver Kissing Otters Pendant

Trade Silver Kissing Otters Pendant

Trade Silver Large Cross of Lorraine

Trade Silver Large Cross of Lorraine

Trade Silver Small Circle Brooch

Trade Silver Small Circle Brooch

Trade Silver Small Cross

Trade Silver Small Cross

Voyageur Play Set

Voyageur Play Set

Voyageur Sash

Voyageur Sash