Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

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National or State Register of Historic Places
Address Restricted | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Northwest and XY Company Trading Post Sites
Reference Number:74000059
Location (Address):Address Restricted
Northwest and XY Company Trading Post Sites
STH 35, town of Union, Burnett County

The Northwest and XY Company Trading Post, also known as Fort Folle Avoine, is a reconstructed early nineteenth century British fur trading post. The archaeological site and the fort reconstruction recall a time when fur trading was Wisconsin's largest industry. In 1802 traders from the rival XY Trading Company and the Northwest Company built trading posts about 100 feet apart at this spot. The Northwest post consisted of a building and a stockade. The XY company location consisted of a single structure with cellar. For the next year they competed for the fur being trapped in the area. In 1803 fearing attacks from American Indians, the XY Company dismantled their building and moved it inside the walls of the Northwest compound. Both companies quickly expanded the site, but fire destroyed the compound a short time later. The site is significant because it may well be the only archeological site where British commercial fur trading activities are preserved.

Forgotten for nearly 170 years, this site was rediscovered in 1969 by Harris Palmer, a geology professor at University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Over a period of five seasons, Palmer and archaeologists from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Burnett County Historical Society carefully unearthed the charred remains of the trading posts. Using the information collected from the excavations and a careful reading of the diaries of the XY traders, the posts have been painstakingly reconstructed and furnished. Artifacts recovered in the excavations are on display in the nearby visitor's center. The fort is open to the public during the summer season. More information may be found at theForts Folle Avoine Historical Park web site.

Period of Significance:1800-1824
Area of Significance:Archeology/Historic - Non-Aboriginal
Area of Significance:Commerce
Applicable Criteria:Information Potential
Historic Use:Commerce/Trade: Department Store
Historic Use:Commerce/Trade: Warehouse
Historic Use:Domestic: Multiple Dwelling
Resource Type:Site
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
National Register Listing Date:02/15/1974
Number of Contributing Buildings:0
Number of Contributing Sites:2
Number of Contributing Structures:0
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:2
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:0
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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