North West Company Depot Gatehouse

Wooden palisade in front of historically reconstructed unpainted wood buildings
Depot Gatehouse

NPS photo

Quick Facts

Automated External Defibrillator (AED), Benches/Seating, First Aid Kit Available, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information - Ranger/Staff Member Present, Picnic Table, Restroom - Accessible, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Tactile Exhibit, Trailhead

An International Company

Boozhoo! Bonjour! Welcome to the Depot! 

The North West Company built the Depot in this strategic location at the beginning of Gichi Onigamiing (the Great Carrying Place), le Grand Portage. In the days of the fur trade, a great variety of people passed through these gates to do business with the North West Company. Inside, the Great Hall was the site of the company’s annual shareholder meeting. Men of wealth from Montreal and Scotland conferred with men of action – partners who spent the winter on the frontier and negotiated trade for beaver and other pelts destined for European markets. The partners also met with leaders from nearby Anishinaabe (Ojibwe), Cree, and Assiniboine villages to formalize trading relationships. Within the Depot walls, there were also a company store, tradesman shops, and storehouses for trade goods, furs, and supplies for the summer. The company’s partners, as well as clerks and canoe guides, all lived here during their stay. Come inside the palisade and travel back to the time when Grand Portage was the center of the fur trade world! 

The Function of the Gatehouse

Ascend the stairs to the Gatehouse lookout tower. Look east for Montreal canoes rounding Hat Point laden with trade goods. The view to the west watches over the Grand Portage trail. Keep a close eye on cook fires outside the palisade!


Grand Portage National Monument

Last updated: October 29, 2023