Warroad in Roseau County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Fort St. Charles
Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de La Verendrye, established Fort St. Charles on Lake of the Woods in 1732. A daring soldier, fur trader, and explorer, La Verendrye had the ambitious dream of finding the fabled "Western Sea" and sought to establish French outposts along the way. On Magnuson's Island (then connected with the mainland) he built a palisaded fort which he named in honor of Charles de Beauharnois, governor of New France.
Fort St. Charles became the western capital of the French empire in the Northwest. From it expeditions were launched and supplies dispatched to newer posts around Lake Winnipeg. Indians brought furs to trade for white men's goods, and these pelts were sent by canoe to Montreal. The scarcity of food and Indian warfare made life precarious. In 1736 La Verendrye's oldest son, Jean-Baptiste, nineteen voyageurs, and Father Jean-Pierre Aulneau, a Jesuit priest, were sent on an expedition to the east for supplies. They were massacred by a Sioux war party on a nearby island.
Abandoned after 1760, the fort was rediscovered and marked by a group of Jesuit fathers in 1908. The site was acquired and the buildings reconstructed by the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus some forty years later.
Erected 1968 by Minnesota Historical Society & the Warroad
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
Location. 48° 54.475′ N, 95° 17.875′ W. Marker is in Warroad, Minnesota, in Roseau County. Marker is on Lake Street near end of Lake Street when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Warroad MN 56763, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within walking distance of this marker. Warroad (approx. 0.6 miles away).
Also see . . . Fort Saint Charles. History of the Fort and its restoration. (Submitted on June 18, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
Additional keywords. Fur trade
Categories. • Exploration • Forts, Castles •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 7, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 17, 2008, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,745 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 17, 2008, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Pictures of the reconstructed fort on Magnuson's Island. • Can you help?