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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Brule-St. Croix Portage (Historic Marker Erected 1962)


Hwy. 53, 1.5 mi. S of Solon Springs, Douglas County

The Brule and St. Croix rivers provide the natural water highway between Lake Superior and the Upper Mississippi. Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, in 1680 was the first white man to use this passage. Traveling from Prairie du Chien in 1766, Jonathan Carver was advised by his Chippewa guide not to ascend the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers because he lacked enough gifts for the numerous and unfriend­ly Sioux along that route. Carver's party then detoured up the Chippewa River to Lac Courte Oreilles, portaged to the Namekagon, traveled down stream to the St. Croix and up that river to the passage north of St. Croix Lake. The two-mile portage between the St. Croix and Brule was used by another exploration party led by Henry Schoolcraft August 6, 1832. One of Schoolcraft's companions recorded that the Brule was a brook of clear, cold water "filled with brook trout." The Brule still is one of the best trout streams in the United States.

[Source: McBride, Sarah Davis. History Just Ahead (Madison:WHS, 1999).]

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