Grand Portage National Monument allows visitors to travel into the past to explore the partnership between the Grand Portage Ojibwe and the North West Company during the North American Fur Trade. The fur trade was booming on the North Shore at the turn of the 19th Century, and Grand Portage was the center of activities!
Grand Portage got its name from a famous 8.5-mile portage located nearby. The portage would lead fur traders from the Pigeon River to Lake Superior. The portage received heavy use throughout the 17th and 18th centuries and made Grand Portage an international destination where traders and the Ojibwe tribe would come together peacefully in mutually beneficial trade. Indeed, it was a prosperous time for both the fur company and the tribe. The North West Company built the fort on the shores of Lake Superior to serve as their main trading depot.
The Grand Portage National Monument is a reconstruction of that fort. From the months of May through October the Monument is open for visitors to explore. Costumed interpreters answer questions and show visitors what life was like when the fort was in use. The annual Rendezvous Day and Pow Wow is a celebration of the North West Company’s relationship with the Ojibwe tribe. Rendezvous Days happens on the second weekend of August.
Year-round visitors to Grand Portage can explore the Heritage Center. The Heritage Center is a museum dedicated to the fur trade and Natives who call Grand Portage home. In addition, there are interactive displays and an educational film, amongst other scheduled activities.
Grand Portage National Monument is a fun, educational experience that will appeal to children and adults alike.