BWCA Where is beaverhouse portage off of Saganaga? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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09/06/2021 09:57AM  
I came across this article while searching for information on Bennie Ambrose's old place on Ottertrack. It's actually an extract of an article from a BWJ 2007 edition. There is a mention of taking the "beaverhouse portage" after crossing Monument and Swamper portages while heading into Saganaga.

Anyone know where that beaverhouse portage used to be? The story is set in 1946 so I assume it's on an old trapper's map, maybe?
 
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09/06/2021 11:56AM  
Interesting story - thanks for posting.
09/06/2021 12:28PM  
You're welcome. :) When I read the story, I thought Bennie and his wife would have built a solid, four wall cabin right away instead of inhabiting a canvas tent for a winter. Yikes. It was -25 degrees during that winter. Snowshoeing in/out of that area in what appeared to be some deep snow (4ft drifts at least) in some areas. That's a workout.

I'm curious about that portage though and where it might have been located. The story teller also mentions "Baird Island" which I presume is on Sag. I can't locate it on any of the modern maps that I have (Fisher, MacKenzie, Voyageurs). Hmmm.
billconner
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09/06/2021 06:07PM  
Great read. Thanks!
TreeBear
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09/06/2021 07:22PM  
I don't actually know, but if we are theorizing I think there are two spots it could have been. The article talks about it like it is between the Swamp portage and the main body of Sag. I could see it possibly being by Candian Campsite "215" at the narrows that turns north as you head through. I could also see it being right at that final narrows heading into the main part of Sag. After you pass campsite "336" there's that narrows that is only a couple canoes wide at most. I could see it being plausible that there were more boulders in that channel once that made it a short portage instead of a paddle. Some of the Seagull River/Seagull Lake channels were dynamited since then so it's not out of the question to think someone would have opened up one of the Sag ones. Hopefully someone will have a more definitive answer.
09/07/2021 12:59PM  
Good guesses. I've thought of those similar places. I was also wondering if somehow a portage cut off some of the peninsula at American Point as another option. I'm still stumped about "Baird island". I don't see it listed on any old maps. Maybe I'll come across something with a bit more digging. I'm interested in the early history in the SNF and BWCA. It's fairly impressive to think that anyone would want to live that far north and essentially off-the-grid as a lifestyle choice. Those were some hardy folks.
QuietWaters
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09/07/2021 03:20PM  
HighnDry: "Good guesses. I've thought of those similar places. I was also wondering if somehow a portage cut off some of the peninsula at American Point as another option. I'm still stumped about "Baird island". I don't see it listed on any old maps. Maybe I'll come across something with a bit more digging. I'm interested in the early history in the SNF and BWCA. It's fairly impressive to think that anyone would want to live that far north and essentially off-the-grid as a lifestyle choice. Those were some hardy folks."

This might be the Baird Island:
Baird Island?

I also found some very interesting 1925 maps showing the landowners along Saganaga Lake, plus all counties counties in MN that you might be interested in. I'll post that in the Listening Point Forum as others might also like to see it who don't check the Trip Planning forum.
jhb8426
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09/07/2021 09:24PM  
HighnDry: "I came across this article while searching for information..."

Quite an interesting story. Some strong, hardy people there.
Mocha
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09/07/2021 09:31PM  


I found this Baird island on the quetico park map.
Maybe this will help

Mocha
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09/08/2021 08:22AM  

what if there was a path through the back side of AP so they wouldn't have to try to buck the wind getting around the point?
09/09/2021 08:12AM  
Mocha: "


I found this Baird island on the quetico park map.
Maybe this will help


"


That must be it! Thanks, Mocha.
Mocha
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09/09/2021 10:14AM  
i'll have to read the story to see how its written. it doesn't seem like winter would be a time to worry about whitecaps around american point. plus, baird island seems so far from AP. can it even be seen from 1st bay or where ever they came off of swamper portage (that's the 5 rd, correct?)
 
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