Why do voyageurs and the fur trade draw you?

Why do voyageurs and the fur trade draw you?

It’s in my blood—I’m descended from voyageurs. Mom found listings of a dozen engagés, or canoemen, through genealogy research into her French-Canadian roots. My grandfather, a younger son of a younger son of a voyageur, told of his connection: His great...
What are high wines anyway?

What are high wines anyway?

What are high wines anyway? Are they different from other wines? Why did voyageurs trade them, especially if they caused so many problems? (Kathy, adult; Mary, adult; Sullivan, 9) High wines is a fancy title for cheap, and probably high-proof, alcohol. High wines were...
My first Girl Scout canoe trip

My first Girl Scout canoe trip

During my first Girl Scout canoe trip back in 1963, flipping our canoes and making the fewest number of passes across a portage (with only one girl carrying the canoe) was a source of great pride. We squashed loaves of white bread—that was before freeze-dried food—and...
Proof of my official voyageur status

Proof of my official voyageur status

I’m an official voyageur and I can prove it. Here’s my certificate, awarded in the summer of 1963 while on my first Girl Scout canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Quetico Provincial Park. I recall the trip fondly (tho’ I’ve forgotten the actual...

Larger than life — Minnesota statues of voyageurs

Guess what I finally found — the voyageur statue in Ely, Minnesota, plus the owner and the artist. (I’ve been trying to find it for a couple of years.) The Midwest’s massive monuments to their uniqueness are pure fun. My community has a large largemouth...
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