The annual Rendezvous in Grand Portage was a busy time for the North West Company. Hundreds of bales of furs came down the portage on the backs of voyageurs as bundles of trade goods went up the 8.5-mile trail to Fort Charlotte. Meanwhile, business meetings conducted in the Great Hall discussed: the ordering of goods; prospective fur returns; relations with Native Peoples as trading partners; competition with rival companies; international politics, particularly relating to wars and treaties that might affect the fur market; and promotions and reorganization within the leadership ranks. The annual gathering in Grand Portage brought in as many as 1,200 people over the course of the season. Just as significant, the Rendezvous was also a time of great celebration and regalement as familiar friends separated for eleven months reunited to share experiences and tell stories of the year's activities.
The festival of Rendezvous was often accompanied by eating, drinking, smoking, fighting, and music. This collection of miscellaneous items associated with the daily lives of the participants in the fur trade features various examples of archeological objects detailing some of the leisure time activities enjoyed by company gentlemen, clerks, voyageurs, and Native Peoples while at the fur trade depot.
This collection of miscellaneous items associated with examples of archeological objects detailing some of the leisure time activities enjoyed by company gentlemen, clerks, voyageurs, and Native Peoples while at the fur trade depot.