Grand Portage


Grand Portage
   Near western end of Lake Superior, about twenty miles south of Fort William. As in the case of so many other historic Canadian places, it is impossible to say who was the first white man to stand upon this famous centre of the fur trade. Radisson came this way in 1662; Du Lhut in 1678; Noyon in 1688; La Noüe in 1717; but there is no evidence that any of the four were actually at Grand Portage. It is first mentioned in a memoir by Pachot, 1722; and the earliest authenticated visit to the spot is that of La Vérendrye, 1731. From that time it grew steadily in importance until finally abandoned, 1801, in favour of Fort William. The name was applied both to the trading-post on the shore of Lake Superior, and to the portage thence to the Pigeon River.
   Index: MS Described, 13; the portage, 13; as it is to-day, 13; in Mackenzie's day, 14; Mackenzie at, 54.
   Bib.: Mackenzie, History of Fur Trade in his Voyages; Henry-Thompson Journals, ed. by Coues; Henry, Travels and Adventures; Carver, Travels; Masson, Bourgeois de la Compagnie du Nord-Ouest; Bryce, Hudson's Bay Company; Burpee, Search for the Western Sea.

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