PINE CITY, Minn. -- The North West Company Fur Post takes visitors back to 1804. Voyagers serve as guides through the history of fur trading with the Europeans.
"Everybody wore hats in Europe, but the felt hats made from beaver are for the more elite people," Voyager Etienne Contois said.
"The fur trade is in existence so hats can be made for the gentlemen of Europe," Contois said. "They are made from the beaver hair. They are in high demand. Beaver hair has proven to be the best felt material known to man. In Europe they hunted the beaver out to extinction before this time," he added.
Money wasn't exchanged for beaver, however manufactured goods were. Muskets and cloth were common things the voyagers would trade for. Voyagers didn't know how to read and write, but they were paid well, similar to a tradesmen. Voyagers had the opportunity to travel to far places.
"This is one of the places where people can go back in history, experience something that not a lot of places have in Minnesota," Contois said. "We're off the beaten path, it's 1804 on our site."
The site features replicated cabins, walking paths and hands-on activities for guests.
The North West Company Fur Post is located at 12551 Voyageur Lane in Pine City, MN.
RELATED: Other area attractions
It's worth the drive to Scandia - the first Swedish settlement in Minnesota--to see Gammelgarden Museum - a cluster of early Swedish immigrant houses. A quaint village on the scenic St. Croix River, Taylors Falls' Angel Hill district has the Folsum House and other buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The kids will love the Wild Mountain Water Park-Alpine Slide & Go Kart North of Pine City, shoppers will drive for the discounts at North Branch Outlets' 35 designer and brand stores.
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