The year is 1798 and the fur trade is booming in the upper reaches of the Mississippi River in the northwoods of Minnesota. Minnesota will not actually become a state for another 60 years but today the Norwesters, gentlemen, traders and Anishanabe are all gathered for the annual rendezvous at the White Oak Fur Post.
Members of the White Oak Society operate the White Oak Fur Post. The White Oak Society provides “living history” interpretations of the fur trade era within the Great Lakes region. Along with the White Oak Fur Post, the society operates The White Oak Learning Centre which houses The Great Hall, The Rick Balen Library, The White Oak Society Office. The Learning Centre also offers the opportunity for a variety of educational programs for youths and adults alike which supports their goal to expand today’s horizons with a “hands on” experience of the past.
Volunteers and a part-time staff of interpreters, portray authentic characters of the fur trade at the White Oak Fur Post and in communities throughout the region. By portraying the lifestyle of the people from the era, the food they eat, the clothes they wear and the language they speak, White Oak Society members help visitors learn about the actual working and living conditions of the time period.
The 18th Century Fur Post comes alive each year during the first full weekend of August when the White Oak Society sponsors the White Oak Rendezvous and Festival. The event includes a participant family camp that allows reenactors and the public an opportunity to relive the vibrancy and ambiance of a thriving Northwest Company Fur Post.
The fur post not only bustles during the summer months, but in January holds the Annual White Oak Sled Dog Classic which showcases classic fur trade dogs in its races. Teams can compete in a 120-mile, 60-mile or a 40-mile race for beginners. Even if you are not a sled dog racer there also are events for the children and whole family. Other events include sled dog demos/lessons, ski-joring demos/lessons, cross-country skiing trails, and many more winter outdoor activities.
The White Oak Fur Post is located north of Deer River, Minnesota on Highway 6 North. For more information call them at 218-246-9393 or email them: firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.whiteoak.org.