Route of the Voyageurs

Route of the Voyageurs (HM59F)

Location: International Falls, MN 56649 Koochiching County
Country: United States of America

N 48° 36.196', W 93° 24.503'

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From the late 1600s to about 1820 the chain of waterways of which Minnesota's border lakes form a segment was the thoroughfare of a vast fur trading empire. As its longest, this water route stretched from Montreal to Lake Athabasca, and over it a treasure in furs from the North American wilderness reached the markets of Europe and Asia. A mainstay of this commerce were the rollicking, indomitable men who paddled the trader's canoes and packed his goods on their backs over portages. Mainly French-Canadians, they were called "voyageurs" — the French term meaning travelers.

Over these waters early each summer they paddled fur-laden canoes eastward to inland depots like Rainy Lake, Grand Portage, or Michilimackinac; each July they returned, carrying trade goods and supplies to the isolated wintering posts. They were a fiercely proud breed , who could paddle eighteen hours a day or carry a load of 450 pounds and yet retain a lusty joy in their work. Decked out in gay sashes and ostrich plumes, they strutted, quarreled, consorted with the Indians, and lightened their toil with French folk songs, gay and rhythmic or hauntingly sad. Today their route, scarcely touched by the modern world, remains open to all who seek adventure.
HM NumberHM59F
Year Placed1969
Placed ByMinnesota Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 6:15am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15U E 469893 N 5383434
Decimal Degrees48.60326667, -93.40838333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 48° 36.196', W 93° 24.503'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds48° 36' 11.76" N, 93° 24' 30.18" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)218
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 248-298 6th Ave, International Falls MN 56649, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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