On Old Fort Island a half mile north of here, the Hudson's Bay Company erected a stockaded fur trading post about 1836. This was the first known European structure within present Kenora. In 1861 the post was moved to the mainland, where it formed the nucleus of the community of Rat Portage. Situated on the main canoe route to the West, the post was visited by many persons prominent in Canada's history: including Sir George Simpson, Sir John Henry Lefroy, Paul Kane, Captain John Palliser, Simon James Dawson and Colonel Garnet Wolseley. The post, which in its later years became a general store, was closed in 1918.