Fort St. Charles (3)

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Fort St. Charles (3) (1732-1754) - A French fur trading fort established in 1732 by Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye near Magnusons Island, Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota. Abandoned in 1754.

History of Fort St. Charles

The fur trading post established by Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye in 1732.

The fort was built as a 60' by 100' rectangle with gates on the north and south sides. The walls were formed by a double row of cedar posts with bastions at the corners. The internal buildings included the commandant's quarters, the priest's quarters, a barracks, a chapel, a warehouse and a powder magazine.

On 6 Jun 1736 an expedition left for Fort Michilimackinac from Fort St. Charles. Members included Jean Baptiste de La Vérendrye (the eldest son), Father Jean-Pierre Aulneau and nineteen French-Canadian voyageurs. The party was attacked on a small island by hostile Indians who killed and beheaded everyone. La Vérendrye had the bodies of his son and the priest, and the heads of the nineteen voyageurs brought back for burial at Fort Saint Charles.

The fort was abandoned in 1754 during the French & Indian War.

The remains of the fort were rediscovered in 1908 along with the remains of the massacre victims. The fort was restored in 1950 by the Minnesota Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, who permanently marked it with a Memorial Altar and later a Chapel of pre-cast concrete logs. The fort stockade and two opposing corner bastions were erected during the summer of 1960.

La Vérendrye Family Built Forts (edit list)
Name Start Stop Place State Est By GPS Notes
Fort St. Pierre (1) 1731 1758 Fort Francis ON Jean-Baptiste 48.6166,
Fort St. Charles 1732 1754 Magnusons Island MN Pierre 49.36181,
Fort Maurepas (2) 1734 1737 Selkirk MB Jean-Baptiste 50.29194,
Fort Maurepas (3) 1739 1760 Fort Alexander MB 50.60904,
Fort La Reine 1737 1753 Portage la Prairie MB Pierre Gaultier 49.9513,
Fort Rouge 1738 1753 Winnipeg MB Pierre Gaultier 49.88508,
Fort Dauphin 1741 1759 Winnipegosis MB Pierre Gaultier 51.6546,
Fort Bourbon (2) 1741 1750 Grand Rapids MB Philippe Leduc 53.1857,
Fort Paskoya 1741 1759 Fort Island MB 53.507,


Current Status

Fort St. Charles Archeological Site is on the National Register of Historic Places, Site - #83000911.

Location: Magnusons Island, Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota.

Maps & Images

Lat: 49.36181 Long: -94.98094

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 1,070'

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