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Grand Portage National Monument

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Address: 170 Mile Creek Rd, Grand Portage, MN 55605-3012
Phone Number:
+1 218-475-0123

On a hot sultry day in mid-July 1802, partners of the most successful fur...

On a hot sultry day in mid-July 1802, partners of the most successful fur trade company in North America, the North West Company, met in their majestic Great Hall at Grand Portage and voted to move their summer headquarters from the protected shores of Lake Superior’s Grand Portage Bay 50 miles north to the mouth of the Kaministquia River. Almost from the time the vigorous Anglo-Scot Nor’Westers had organized at Grand Portage in the mid 1780’s an emerging United States wanted them out. The July vote would mean that 18 buildings constructed from native squared spruce, pine and birch and over 2,000 cedar pickets surrounding them would be torn down, transported north in company schooners and used in constructing the new Fort William far from U.S. soil. As early as 2,000 years ago, Indian Nations probably used Kitchi Onigaming “the Great Carrying Place” to travel from summer homes on Lake Superior to winter hunting grounds in the interior of Minnesota and Ontario. In 1729 Cree guide Auchagah drew a map for some of the first French fur traders showing them how to reach the "western sea" of Lake Winnipeg. Other Europeans would follow, in time, Grand Portage became the gateway into rich northern fur bearing country connecting remote interior outposts to lucrative international markets. Reopened in 1951 as Grand Portage National Historic Site, designated a National Monument in 1958, its nearly 710 acres lying entirely within the boundaries of Grand Portage Ojibwe Indian Reservation, the reconstructed depot celebrates fur trade and Ojibwe lifeways. Today as yesterday, the people, the cultures and the land have much to share.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 188 reviews
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Bijou du nord

If Minnesota's motto is "L'etoile du Nord" then this monument was be "Bijou du Nord" because a gem it is. First of all, for all you leaf peepers, the monument is open until... read more

Reviewed 2 October 2016
Richard C
Winona, Mississippi
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188 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 184: English reviews
Winona, Mississippi
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2016

If Minnesota's motto is "L'etoile du Nord" then this monument was be "Bijou du Nord" because a gem it is. First of all, for all you leaf peepers, the monument is open until Veteran's Day allowing you a trip up to see the leaves changing at the same time you stop here. The presentation at the main monument site is... More 

2 Thank Richard C
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2016

I collect National Parks and Monuments. Out of the 37 I have visited, this is the BEST and most well done facility I have seen! The building itself is beautiful and asthetically inviting.When we walked inside, we were immediately greeted by "Sherry" from behind the counter, telling us (all within 39 seconds) about what to see in the facility, the... More 

Thank snelson6000
Springfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
70 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2016 via mobile

This historical site (which includes a short informational film) is wonderful. During the short fall season, the re-enactors are not present, but instead tours are offered. Our tour guide was Carl. He was wonderful and knew so much history. He told us he works at the monument making canoes as well as other things. We were enthralled with his presentation... More 

Thank Northernillgirl
Alexandria, Minnesota
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2016

very well done !!! we sloshed through the rain and still had a great time ! lots and lots of history !! we learned so much about fur trading, the tribe and what life was lie for them.. well worth the trip..head up to the state park and take in the falls to make a day trip out of it... More 

Thank babsjam2001
Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Level Contributor
46 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2016 via mobile

The main center has tons of information and Native American/historic artifacts to explore. There's an upstairs as well, but most of the information is downstairs. Follow the trail across the street and you'll find yourself going back in time. There are various setups that show the way of life, where you can learn much about Minnesota's history. You can walk... More 

Thank ExitNo9
Grapeview, Washington
Level Contributor
555 reviews
241 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2016 via mobile

This is an excellent place to visit to learn more about the fur trading era of the late 1700's and early 1800's, and the interaction between between the Ojibwe, French, and English cultures. Start in the visitor center with the film giving you the background, then be sure to take one of the guided tours, if available. The tour takes... More 

Thank Jim B
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2016

I highly recommend a stop at the Monument. The museum is good, and the movie that is shown regularly is a must. It gives a wonderful historical background. As I was leaving the movie, I joined a tour that was just beginning with a young woman dressed in native clothes who is a ranger at the Monument. She led us... More 

Thank younghighschool
Winter Park, Florida
Level Contributor
134 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2016

There is a museum which was interesting but similar to other National Parks. The highlight was the outside settlement. When we visited there were "volunteers" manning each part of the settlement and they were full of really great information and willing to tell you all that you would want to know and answer any questions that you had. I could... More 

Thank AnnualAdventurer
Memphis, Tennessee
Level Contributor
126 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2016 via mobile

Take the time to visit this National gem! It was very informative and talked about stuff I knew nothing about! I love that! The video was great as well as the walking tour.

Thank Suzybee51
Leesburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
68 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2016 via mobile

This is a really neat place. Very organized and run well. Something to see and learn around every corner. The staff is very friendly and well informed in the presentation they're giving at their station. The history lesson is really cool and you will not be disappointed that you stopped by.

Thank Steve C

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