In Focus: Fur Trade In Minnesota Exhibit
The Fur Trade in Minnesota may be considered the state’s first global business, and if you ever wondered what it was like, the Clearwater County History Center has the answers.
“It’s a little known part of our history, at least in our neck of the woods,” said Clearwater County Historical Society Executive Director Tamara Edevold.
During that time period, wealthy Europeans traded items with American Indians in exchange of fur. Beaver was the most prominent, and beaver pelts were transformed into stylish hats.
“We’ve never looked at the fur trade and so this was a great opportunity for us to have this specific exhibit, just to look at something different in our area,” said Edevold.
The Fur Trade In Minnesota exhibit has lots of interactive components to it. One video lets you attempt to interpret what a French or Ojibwe person is saying, and you also have the opportunity to touch beaver pelts and other furs.
“Being able to just touch the items is something that I think is unique about this particular exhibit,” said Edevold. “It’s not all behind glass cases, it’s not just something that you can read, there’s a lot of thing to touch and get a feel for.”
Guests can try on a raccoon jacket or bear coat – back then, these were common things to wear.
“This particular exhibit has been more popular than some of the other traveling exhibits that I’ve had,” said Edevold.
There are also key items on display to enhance the experience.
“Some of our own artifacts from our own collection and we also have some items on loan from trappers in the area,” said Edevold.
The exhibit runs until November 4 and then will travel to the Beltrami County History Center.
“Having a professionally designed exhibit coming to northern Minnesota is always a good thing,” said Edevold.