Trading Posts

Trading posts reflect the importance of the fur trade in the lives of the Native people of the Duluth area during the contact period. Trading posts were not only places where Native people and Euro-Americans interacted, but many traders were themselves of Native heritage or had Native family members. The locations of trading posts were often associated with nearby Native villages or temporary camps of those who came to trade.

25. Fort St. Louis of the North West Company (1793-c.1816). Located within present-day Superior, Wisconsin, this British North West Company post was the first continuously occupied trading house in the Duluth area. A stockade around the post encompassed as many as 16 log buildings. Fort St. Louis served as the headquarters of the company’s Fond du Lac department until the American Fur Company took control of the region’s trade after the War of 1812. (Hall 1976:15)

26. American Fur Company Post at Fond du Lac (c. 1816-1842). In 1816, the American Fur Company took control of the fur trade in the region of Duluth. The company established a post on the St. Louis River at present-day Fond du Lac. This location near the east end of the Grand Portage of the St. Louis River was ideal for monitoring trade with the interior region to the west. From 1935 through 1968, a reconstruction of the post stood near the original site.

27. George Stuntz’ Trading Post (1853-1869). Private trader George Stuntz resided on the lower end of Minnesota Point from 1853-1869 where he operated a licensed trading post and a ferry service to Superior. (Carey 1901:260; Hall 1976:117)

28. George Nettleton’s Trading Post (c.1851). Private trader George E. Nettleton constructed a trading post and claim shanty at the base of Minnesota Point. (Thompson 1894:336; Carey 1931:6-7)

29. Bright’s Trading Post (c.1857). A private trading house identified as “Bright’s Trade Post” on the original 1857 land survey map is likely the post of Michael S. Bright, Sr. (Van Brunt 1921:140)

30. Brown’s Trading Post (c. 1857). A private trading house on Rice’s Point identified as “Brown’s Trading Post” on the original 1857 land survey map belonged to Zachariah (Zack) Brown, whose sister was the wife of Orrin W. Rice. Brown married Elizabeth Osawigijig. (Carlson 2015b)