Digging into the Voyageurs’ World

Digging into the Voyageurs’ World

When I needed info on pensions for infirm canoemen, where could I find it? Luckily, a book by Carolyn Podruchny had just enough online to answer my question — and more. Her “Making the Voyageur World: Travelers and Traders in the North American Fur Trade” had much to...
Where in the world did trade goods come from?

Where in the world did trade goods come from?

Imagine the array of specialty goods from 1800 — lace handkerchiefs, fragrant tea, violin strings, glass beads, printed calico, nutmegs, lacquered boxes, powdered vermilion, shiny knives and kettles — and feast your senses. Their uniqueness, their usefulness draws...
Dog sleds—voyageurs’ winter mode of travel

Dog sleds—voyageurs’ winter mode of travel

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon just ended. The Iditarod is coming soon. And  I’m hooked. Those pictures of dogsleds careening around sharp snowy turns get me itching to try it. But jaw-dropping scared as well. How in the world do they handle those dogs?...
Help wanted: Voyageurs!

Help wanted: Voyageurs!

What’s a “voyageur”? Is it like a “voyager”? Voyageurs needed! Hardy men to paddle birch bark canoes from sunrise to sunset and haul heavy packs of trade goods or fur pelts over miserable portages. Even so, French-Canadian voyageurs were known for their...
Hear French-Canadian the way voyageurs spoke it!

Hear French-Canadian the way voyageurs spoke it!

Bon jour! (“Good day” in French) Have you wondered what the foreign words in “Waters Like the Sky” or “Treacherous Waters” sound like as you’re reading about the adventures and mishaps of a brigade of fur traders in the 1800s? If so, now you can check out the...

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