Who are we? La Compagnie is a member sponsored, non-profit historical society for anyone interested in the fur trade era of the upper Midwest.
We offer presentations and demonstrations, and participate in “living history” events on fur trade subjects.
We demonstrate life during the fur trade era, including the various crafts and skills of the time.
We advocate the preservation of fur trade heritage and do so by supporting the preservation of original fur trade buildings such as the Sibley House in Mendota and the Oliver Faribault Cabin at The Landing in Shakopee and fur trade era historical sites such as Grand Portage National Monument and the North West Company Fur Post in Pine City.
Consider becoming a member!
Visit us at a voyageur living history event.
Look for us! We appear in colorful period-appropriate clothing with our replica birch bark canoes and
authentic fur trade goods at historic sites, rendezvous, “heritage days,” community celebrations, festivals
and educational events across Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Check out the schedule below to see where we will be next!
- September 19-20, North West Company Fur Post, Pine City, MN
- June 20, Faribault Heritage Days Celebration, Faribault, MN
- July 9, Luck Public Library, Luck, WI
- July 25, Elm Creek Park Reserve, Maple Grove, MN
- August 7-9, Grand Portage National Monument, Grand Portage, MN
Coming soon! Saturday-Sunday, September 19-20, Festival of the Voyageur, Saturday 10:00 am-9:00 pm, and Sunday 12:00 noon-4:00 pm: Visit La Compagnie’s bustling camp along the historic Snake River. Explore our colorful trade goods display, identify the furs that were traded, maybe join us for a paddle on the river in in our huge replica Montreal canoe. This family-friendly event is held annually the third full weekend in September. The event is included in the admission fee to visit this Minnesota Historical Society historic site and museum.
Saturday, June 20, Faribault Heritage Celebration: We had a wonderful time talking with the folks out for the day. We were right there in Central Park — next to the midway rides and the band shell — with a 20-foot long replica “north” canoe, a wide array of trade goods and furs, plus some colorful characters. The furs were especially interesting to the youngsters. We also had a lot of fun demonstrating how to at least get a spark by striking steel against flint. This is one of favorite family-friendly events.
Thursday, July 9, the La Compagnie voyageurs visited the Summer Reading Program at the Luck Public Library. We set up our trading operation as a series of five learning stations: trade goods, animal pelts and furs, fire starting, a trade musket and our 26′-foot replica birch bark canoe. Groups of youngsters, ranging in age from maybe 4 to 84 rotated between stations, then came back at the end to visit their favorite and ask more questions.
Saturday, July 25 was “Voyageur for a Day” Celebration at the Historic Pierre Bottineau House. The weather was excessively hot, but our display and camaraderie were warm and friendly! We built a small small voyageur encampment filled with colorful trade goods and luxurious fur pelts under a large and shade producing tarp. One of our replica birch bark canoes was nearby. We enjoyed the company of park staff we know from events at the Landing, and witnessed the debut of a new display on wild foods used by local Natives. (Well done, Beth!)
Friday-Sunday, August 7-9, this year’s Rendezvous Days & Powwow at Grand Portage National Monument were truly amazing. Our “winterer’s camp” – located just outside the main gate – was filled with dozens of La Compagnie members and all the hustle and bustle of rendezvous activity. Inside the kitchen, our cooks demonstrated how the partners of the North West Company ate. Watch our blog for more details on what the partners might have eaten at their banquets, circa 1797.
Would your organization like to learn more about the fur trade, the voyageurs, and skills needed for living in the wilderness 200 years ago?
La Compagnie des Hivernants de la Rivìere Saint Pierre may just be the group you have been searching for!