Digital Time Travelers 2002
6 Pause Portage Historic Travel Quotes
Below are Quotes from 19th century travelers. Quotes will be listed chronologically and will have a brief annotation.
Victor Malhiot 1805-06 was a French Fur Trader employed by the Northwest Fur Company. His year long journal is arguably the most comprehesive descrition of the traditional fur trade in northern Wisconsin the and the upper peninsula of Michigan. Malhiot was a ruthless trader, complainer, racist and suffered traveling along 6-Pause portage. His quotes regarding the difficult of 6-Pause are the mnost elequent and powerful.
"Until now, owing to lack of time and to sickness, I have been unable
to make any observations on the country and the Savages, but as I am better
today I will begin by saying that of all the spots and places I have seen
in my thirteen years of travels, this is the most horrid and most
sterile. The Portage road is truly that to heaven because it is narrow,
full of overturned trees, obstacles, thorns, and muskegs. Men who go over
it loaded and who are obliged to carry baggage over it, certainly deserve
to be called men.
"26th Sunday. Yesterday we crossed the Portage des Six Poses and that of the village of la Tortue and, at one oclock this afternoon we reached the Grand Portage of the Montreal River1 where my canoe was broken, and we are obliged to camp in order to allow four packs to dry that got wet. The two portages we crossed are exceedingly bad and the Savages tell me this one is still worse." 180
James Duane Doty 1820 was a government agent represnting the territorial interests of the United States of America. His reference to 6 Pause is brief but noted as a key route.
"A lake of considerable size is connected with Turtle Lake on the northeast by a river. In Lake Du Flambeau the Southwest Company have an establishment of five traders and twenty hands, the return from which last season was about fifty packs. It lies from Turtle Lake near southeast. The route is from the mouth of the Montreal to Turtle Lake, from which there is a portage one-fourth of a mile to a small pond, thence up the outlet of a small lake one-fourth of a mile, from which a portage of three miles is made to the Old Plantation River. This is descended eighteen miles to the entrance of the Rivière du Flambeau,..."
Sherman Hall 1832 was a missionar wor for the American Board ofr Foreign Missionaires and kept a detailed journal on his travels to Lac Du Flambeau. Hall's journals contatin many insights into the conduct of Native and non native cultures. His religious bias is glaring but balances nicely with man good observations. On 6-Pause Portage Hall was caught by dearkness and spent a cold and uncomfortable night camping on the protage trail. He has extensive observations regarding the trail and requirement of travel in the northwoods in the early 19th centruy.
"Our passage across these lakes was short probably not exceeding
two miles. Here we reached
Thomas Jefferson Cram 1842 was a government agent in charge of surveying the modern border between Wiscconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan. Cram was overwehlmed by his task and after striking the East Branch of the Montreal River traveled southeast to Trout Lake via 6-Pause Portage to Triagulate his survey between Lac Vieux Desert and the East Branch of the Montreal. Cram makes no real mention of the portage trail due to his fatigue and extensive notes on the border.
A. B. Gray 1846 was a geologist who was surveying the area south of copper and iron ranges along Lake Superior to determine if any mineral wealth could be found in the interior lake region. His sciettific and cultural observations are excellent. Gray traveled up the Manitowish River to the Trout Lake band of the Ojibwe adding some fine insight relative to the Turtle Band of the Ojibwe and 6-Pause Portage.
"The next day we continued on our course to the eastward. After a short distance by water, made another portage of 2 miles with the canoes, part of it through a deep tamarack swamp, and launched them into the main branch of the Chippewa river. This stream appeared to be about 30 feet wide where we struck it, rapid and quite deep, and, I understand, can be descended from Trout lake in canoes the whole way to the Mississippi, with but a few portages around falls or rapids."
J. G. Norwood 1847 was a geologist who also surveyed the interior region for mineral wealth and was asttached to the Owen Expedition. Norwood kept an extensive journal of his travels with the greatest detail. His map is outstanding and was drawn by an Ojibwe with many lakes and portages written in native language. Norwood kept great journals of all his travels and was the most scientific in his record of 6-Pause Portage. Norwood's work is the most comprehensive regarding the Turtle Portage, the Flambeau Trail and Turtle Band of the Ojibwe.
"The outlet from Little Turtle lake is through a very narrow channel
connecting it with another lake, which we crossed, and came to the beginning
of what is known as "Six Pause portage." As the voyagers had
to make a double portage, we took our packs and walked on to its termination,
at the east branch of the Chippewa river, or as it is commonly called
the Manidowish, where we arrived at noon. The trail runs over a sand barren,
with the exception of the last half mile, which runs through one of the
worst tamerack swamps I have ever seen. A few stunted pines, with the
occasional patches of course grass, is the only vegetation supported on
the high grounds.