LITTLE FALLS — You can learn more about life in Minnesota during the fur trade era at an event hosted by the Morrison County Historical Society this weekend.
Historical reconstitution Joel Brown will present “Bonga: A Fur Trade Family Saga” at the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum in Little Falls. Brown will tell the story of Pierre Bonga who is the first recorded person of African ancestry in Minnesota Territory and the cultural exchange that occurred as a result of the fur trade.
The son of parents enslaved on Mackinac Island, Bonga moved to northern Minnesota and rose through the ranks in the North West Company and the American Fur Company. He entered into a common-law marriage with an Ojibwe woman whose name has not been properly recorded and had several children who also worked in the fur trade.
Son george and Etienne spoke several Aboriginal languages, English and French, and worked as interpreters, guides, fur traders and trappers. Bonga’s daughter Daisy married fur trader Jacob Fahlstrom who was the first Swedish settler in Minnesota. The event starts at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday.
Pre-registration and mandatory masks. To register, you can call 320-632-4007 or email [email protected] by Friday.