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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Grand Portage in Cook County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Birchbark Canoe

 
 
The Birchbark Canoe Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, September 5, 2019
1. The Birchbark Canoe Marker
Inscription.  American Indians developed the birchbark canoe hundreds or thousands of years ago. It would provide the technology that allowed the North West Company to span the continent.

"Canots du Nord"
The 24-foot north canoes could be portaged around rapids by two men. They carried a 1½ ton cargo and were used between Grand Portage and the Canadian Northwest.

"Maitre Canots"
Master canoes, also called Montreal canoes, were about 36 feet long and carried a cargo of more that 3½ tons, propelled by a crew of up to fourteen voyageurs. They transported goods between Montreal and Grand Portage.

Photo captions:
Middle top: The raw materials are gathered: birch bark for the canoe skin, cedar for planking, and spruce roots for "rope” to tie everything together.
Middle: Poles are planted at two-foot intervals, outlining the shape of the canoe. The birchbark skin is placed inside.
Right top: Pieces of bark are sewn together with split spruce roots to form a single canoe skin.

 
Erected by National Park

The Birchbark Canoe Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, September 5, 2019
2. The Birchbark Canoe Marker
Fiberglass replica of Ojibwa canoe
Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationNative Americans.
 
Location. 47° 57.708′ N, 89° 41.085′ W. Marker is in Grand Portage, Minnesota, in Cook County. Marker can be reached from Mill Creek Road 0.1 miles south of Store Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 112 Mill Creek Rd, Grand Portage MN 55605, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. North West Company Depot (here, next to this marker); Voyageurs at Grand Portage (within shouting distance of this marker); North West Company Fur Press (within shouting distance of this marker); A Warehouse for Furs, Trade Goods, and Now—Canoes (within shouting distance of this marker); The North West Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Guard the Gate (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Grand Portage (about 400 feet away); Naming This Place (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grand Portage.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 18, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 44 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 18, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of the whole marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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Mar. 6, 2021