Gingras Trading Post
Gingras Trading Post
The Gingras Trading Post State Historic Site preserves the 1840s home and trading post of Métis legislator and businessman Antoine Blanc Gingras, northeast of Walhalla, Pembina County. Métis, meaning "mixed blood" or "mixed race," is a term used by people of combined Indian and European ancestry to describe themselves. Gingras was a prominent fur trader, who in 1861 claimed a net worth of $60,000 and later increased his holdings to include a chain of trading posts extending across northern Dakota Territory and southern Manitoba. Gingras's hand-hewn oak log store and home are among the few tangible remains of the fur trade in the Red River Valley.
Antoine B. Gingras was significant in the history of the region. In 1851 he was elected to serve in the Minnesota Territorial House of Representatives. He participated in the 1869 rebellion led by Louis Riel against the government of Manitoba to gain a national homeland and self-government for the Métis people. Gingras also took part in chartering the City of Winnepeg.
Both buildings on Gingras State Historic Site have been restored to their original appearance. While the logs are exposed on the two-story trading post, clapboard siding covers the log structure of the house. The siding was added soon after the house was built. The house has been painted in its original historic colors, as determined by study of traces of the original paint. The exterior is deep red with white trim, and the interior reproduces the original color scheme of blue walls, yellow floors, pink ceilings, an green and brown trim. Interpretive panels and exhibits about Gingras, Métis heritage, and the fur trade are located in the restored house. Authentic reproductions of fur trade goods are sold in the Gingras store.
Pictures and information were provided by the State Historical Society of North Dakota
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