Okay…venturing to the state that just slipped through President Trump’s Electoral Count grasp in 2016 for some shoring up, our very special genius is headed to one of the largest freshwater ports in North America.
Situated on the north shore of Lake Superior at the westernmost point of the Great Lakes, Duluth is the largest metropolitan area (and second-largest city) on the lake and is accessible to the Atlantic Ocean 2,300 miles (3,700 km) away via the Great Lakes Waterway and St. Lawrence Seaway. The Port of Duluth is the world’s farthest inland port accessible to oceangoing ships, and by far the largest and busiest port on the Great Lakes. The port is ranked among the top 20 ports in the United States by tonnage. Commodities shipped from the Port of Duluth include coal, iron ore, grain, limestone, cement, salt, wood pulp, steel coil, and wind turbine components.
A tourist destination for the Midwest, Duluth features the United States’ only all-freshwater aquarium, the Great Lakes Aquarium; the Aerial Lift Bridge, which is adjacent to Canal Park and spans the Duluth Ship Canal into the Duluth–Superior harbor; and Minnesota Point (known locally as Park Point), the world’s longest freshwater baymouth bar, spanning 6 miles (10 km). The city is also the starting point for vehicle trips touring the North Shore of Lake Superior toward Ontario, Canada.
Freshwater aquarium, huh. Wonder if they have any trout.
As for the background of the place, this is fairly common throughout the Native American history of the midwest:
The Ojibwe, sometimes referred to as the Chippewa, are clan members of the Anishinaabe, a group of culturally-related indigenous peoples including the Ojibwe who are resident in what are now Canada and the United States. The Ojibwe have a inhabited the Lake Superior region for more than 500 years. Already established as traders, after the arrival of Europeans, the Anishinaabe found a niche as the middlemen between the French fur traders and other Native peoples. They soon became the dominant Indian nation in the region, forcing out the Dakota Sioux and Fox and winning a victory against the Iroquois west of Sault Ste. Marie in 1662. By the mid-18th century, the Ojibwe occupied all of Lake Superior’s shores. In 1745, they adopted guns from the British for use against the Dakota nation of the Sioux, whom they pushed farther to the south. The Ojibwe Nation was the first to set the agenda with European-Canadian leaders for signing more detailed treaties before many European settlers were allowed too far west.
The Ojibwe are historically known for their crafting of birch bark canoes, use of copper arrow points, and cultivation of wild rice. The settlement in Ojibwe is Onigamiinsing (“at the little portage”), a reference to the small and easy portage across Minnesota Point between Lake Superior and western St. Louis Bay, which forms Duluth’s harbor. For both the Ojibwe and the Dakota, interaction with Europeans during the contact period revolved around the fur trade and related activities.
According to Ojibwe oral history, Spirit Island, near the Spirit Valley neighborhood, was the “Sixth Stopping Place”, where the northern and southern branches of the Ojibwe Nation came together and proceeded to their “Seventh Stopping Place” near the present city of La Pointe, Wisconsin. The “Stopping Places” were the places the Native Americans occupied during their westward migration as the Europeans overran their territory.
Several factors brought fur traders to the Great Lakes in the early 17th century. The fashion for beaver hats in Europe generated demand for pelts. French trade for beaver in the lower St. Lawrence River had led to the depletion of the animals in that region by the late 1630s, so the French searched farther west for new resources and new routes, making alliances with the Native Americans along the way to trap and deliver their furs.
Étienne Brûlé is credited with the European discovery of Lake Superior before 1620. Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers explored the Duluth area, Fond du Lac (Bottom of the Lake) in 1654 and again in 1660. The French soon established fur posts near Duluth and in the far north where Grand Portage became a major trading center. The French explorer Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, whose name is sometimes anglicized as “DuLuth”, explored the St. Louis River in 1679.
After 1792 and the independence of the United States, the North West Company established several posts on Minnesota rivers and lakes, and in areas to the west and northwest, for trading with the Ojibwe, the Dakota, and other native tribes. The first post was where Superior, Wisconsin, later developed. Known as Fort St. Louis, the post became the headquarters for North West’s new Fond du Lac Department. It had stockaded walls, two houses of 40 feet (12 m) each, a shed of 60 feet (18 m), a large warehouse, and a canoe yard. Over time, Indian peoples and European Americans settled nearby, and a town gradually developed at this point.
In 1808, the American Fur Company was organized by German-born John Jacob Astor. The company began trading at the Head of the Lakes in 1809. In 1817, it erected a new headquarters at present-day Fond du Lac on the St. Louis River. There, portages connected Lake Superior with Lake Vermillion to the north, and with the Mississippi River to the south. After creating a powerful monopoly, Astor got out of the business about 1830, as the trade was declining. But active trade was carried on until the failure of the fur trade in the 1840s. European fashions had changed and many American areas were getting over-trapped, with game declining.
In 1832 Henry Schoolcraft visited the Fond du Lac area and wrote of his experiences with the Ojibwe Indians there. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow based the Song of Hiawatha, his epic poem relating the fictional adventures of an Ojibwe warrior named Hiawatha and the tragedy of his love for Minnehaha, a Dakota woman, on Schoolcraft’s writings.
Natives signed two Treaties of Fond du Lac with the United States in the present neighborhood of Fond du Lac in 1826 and 1847, in which the Ojibwe ceded land to the American government. As part of the Treaty of Washington (1854) with the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa, the United States set aside the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation upstream from Duluth near Cloquet, Minnesota.
There’s much more fascinating stuff at wiki.
I’ll add live links to this post during the late afternoon as they become available.
In the meantime, please post tweets and videos below of what’s going on in Minnesota, and any travel stories you may have of the place.