• A fall day on Mt. Rose overlooking the historic depot at Grand Portage.

    Grand Portage

    National Monument Minnesota

Tools

Axe With Wooden Handle GRPO 14152

Small deteriorated wrought iron axe head with wooden handle - GRPO 14152

NPS Photo / John Reed

  • Overview
    • Numerous varieties of tools for a multitude of purposes were either shipped to or produced by craftsmen at the North West Company depot in Grand Portage.
    • Although few written records about the activities of the North West Company and their trade at Grand Portage survive, one important document that has survived to greatly benefit research on the site is an inventory of goods present at the depot in June 1797. It is from this information that we learn about the vast quantities of tools brought in for the use of the post and the trade. The following are just some examples:
      • 150+ axes
      • 3,000+ awls
      • 250+ files
      • 20 firesteels
      • 14 hammers
      • 24 garden hoes
      • 204 scissors
      • 1,300 thimbles
  • The following examples in the gallery were collected during archeological excavations at Grand Portage and the Quetico-Superior Underwater Archeology Project. They illustrate some of the important everyday tools utilized by Native Peoples and the Euro-Americans.
  • View Tools further description (70 Kb PDF)
 

Did You Know?

A Montreal canoe at Grand Portage National Monument

The 40 foot “Montreal” class of birchbark canoe used on the Great Lakes during the 18th century, could carry the weight of two mid-sized cars…that’s over four tons or about 8,000 pounds!