Grand Portage:
A History of The Sites, People, and Fur Trade
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This map contains only those structures or features for which measurements or distances are given in the narrative. In some instances different writers gave different figures; the map includes them all. Thus, the sites should be considered as being generally located rather than specifically identified. A large number of structures listed in Appendix 1 do not appear on the map because the descriptions of them are too vague or brief for plotting.

1. North West Company Post. Archeological excavations, while raising many questions about details, reasonably locate the stockades surrounding the North West Company post, the principal establishment at Grand Portage.

2. An opposition company, D & P Grant, set out 4 posts to mark a potential site for a fort, in 1793. These posts were 200-300 yards east of the North West Co. post. (p. 117)

3. Montrealers' camp (on beach, under canoes). This camp was to the east of the N. W. Co. post, 1793 (p. 117). It was described as being on the "point" in 1800 (p. 158). It is thought that the point was that piece of land in the angle formed by Grand Portage Bay and Grand Portage Creek.

4. Northmen's camp. Tent camp located on west side of Grand Portage Creek, athwart the road to the portage, 1793 (p. 110). There was a west gate to the N. W. Co. post, 1798 (p. 134). It seems probable that the men from the Northwest came down the portage and camped just west of the gate on that side. At the peak of activity, late 1790s, there were several hundred northmen at the rendezvous; the size of the camp and the number of tents would be considerable. (Archeological evidence supports idea of a gate on the west wall.)

5. XY Company post. In 1800, it was described as being within 200 rods (3300') of the N. W. Co. post (p. 166).

Description written between 1803 and 1807 said that the XY Co. post was 1/4 mile from the N. W. Co. post (p. 214). Worth noting is the fact that in the 1803 court case involving the area immediately to the east of the N. W. Co. post, no mention is made of the XY Co. post in that area; this absence of note supports the above two statements that it was farther off toward the east. Both the distances given here are shown on the map—the XY post probably being someplace within the dotted enclosure, No. 5.

6. Hervieux's trading store (3 tents), 1802, was first located 50 feet from the Montrealers' beach encampment (p. 196) and 50 feet from the Northmen's encampment (p. 197). Another witness said the store was only 20 feet from the Montrealers' beach encampment (p. 197). Still another testified that it was from 20 to 50 feet from the Northmen's camp (p. 198).

7. Hervieux's second location of his trading store was said to have been 285 feet east of his first location (p. 199). Another witness said that it was from 190 to 275 feet east of the first site (p. 201).

8. Boucher's trading post, 1798-1802, said to be about 60 feet from Hervieux's second location (p. 197). A second person testified that Boucher's fort marked the eastern boundary of the area cleared of trees by the traders, especially those of the North West Company (p. 201).

Lecruyer's trading store, 1794-98, said to have been on the same site as Boucher's. It was described as a little house, "some distance" from the N. W. post (pp. 203-04).

9. One new arrival said that the landing place was about one mile from the N. W. Co. post, 1803 (p. 206). This is so marked on the map but it does not seem to be a likely location for a landing place. One would expect the one or two piers built by the N. W. Co. to have been close to the post.

10 A young clerk wrote in 1802 that the XY Co. had begun building a new post on "the hill." (p. 190) Apparently this construction was stopped when the XY Co. moved into the abandoned N. W. Co. fort that year or early the next. No further evidence exists to aid in identifying the hill. The dotted circle on the map is supposition only.

1. North West Company's area of operations. (click on map for a PDF version)

2. Grand Portage NM National Monument. (click on map for a PDF version)

3. Grand Portage Stockade—archeology. (click on map for a PDF version)

4. Fort Charlotte—archeology. (click on map for a PDF version)

5. Historic Base Map. (click on map for a PDF version)

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Last Updated: 15-Jul-2009