The Grand Portage Story
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In The Grand Portage Story, historian Carolyn Gilman tells the compelling tale of the legendary fur-trade crossroads in northern Minnesota where Indian and European cultures have competed with and accommodated each other for nearly three centuries.

"The Great Carrying Place"—in Ojibway, the Kitchi Onigaming—is the 8.5-mile canoe portage linking Lake Superior's North Shore to the interconnected waterways that lie along the border between what is now Minnesota and Ontario. In the 1600s French explorers and traders, who first called the trail the Grand Portage, quickly adopted it as a vital route to the vast, fur-rich regions in the northern interior of the continent. At Grand Portage Bay, near places of Indian settlement, the British North West Company built the headquarters from which it dominated the North American fur trade in the late 1700s.

Today Grand Portage National Monument, which embraces the portage route and the fur trade sites on the bay, lies within the boundaries of the Grand Portage Reservation of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

CAROLYN GILMAN, former editor and exhibits curator at the Minnesota Historical Society, is the author of Where Two Worlds Meet: The Great Lakes Fur Trade (1982) and The Way to Independence: Memories of a Hidatsa Indian Family, 1840-1920 (1987). ALAN R. WOOLWORTH is a research fellow at the Minnesota Historical Society; his work at the Grand Portage site as archaeologist and consultant has extended over thirty years.

Back Cover. (from top to bottom): The view from Mount Rose Overlook (National Park Service, Grand Portage National Monument, Grand Portage, Minn.); Voyageurs portaging a canoe (© Will Goddard); Ojibway beadwork (National Park Service, Grand Portage National Monument, Grand Portage, Minn.); Inside the Great Hall (National Park Service, Grand Portage National Monument, Grand Portage, Minn.)

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Last Updated: 15-Jul-2009