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Thread: Trading post

  1. #1

    Trading post

    Iím just curious, how do you find old trade posts when thereís no longer a building there?

  2. #2
    I hope someone chimes in for you, Noah. Are trading posts common in your area?
    We are able to locate old homesteads because their cellar holes have stone basements which are still visible...but once in a while we find cabin sites from the first settlers. They don't have cellar holes but if you stumble on one you start hearing iron in the middle of nowhere. I've only found a few cabin sites.
    I'm curious to learn more about your trading posts.
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  3. #3
    Noah, try going to historicmapworks. com and look for the oldest map of your county. For my county of St. Clair the oldest is 1864. You may find a reference "old trading post" or "old cabin" or "fmr cabin." The other way is through historical accounts, i.e. a diary entry such as "we stopd and eet at one-eyed Frenchy tradin post 8 miles south of Brault farm."
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  4. #4
    I've only found a few sites for trading posts, and almost every time it's followed by a "no you can't detect the site." It's also just by accident that I find out. Property owners bragging about the history of the building or land.
    Quote Originally Posted by OxShoeDrew View Post
    I hope someone chimes in for you, Noah. Are trading posts common in your area?
    We are able to locate old homesteads because their cellar holes have stone basements which are still visible...but once in a while we find cabin sites from the first settlers. They don't have cellar holes but if you stumble on one you start hearing iron in the middle of nowhere. I've only found a few cabin sites.
    I'm curious to learn more about your trading posts.

  5. #5
    Thanks Dave. I've never looked at a map that identified trading posts. I do see detectorists like Hoover Boys talking about "this was a trading post bla bla blaaa. Just assumed it was just by chance people found out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Full Metal Digger View Post
    Noah, try going to historicmapworks. com and look for the oldest map of your county. For my county of St. Clair the oldest is 1864. You may find a reference "old trading post" or "old cabin" or "fmr cabin." The other way is through historical accounts, i.e. a diary entry such as "we stopd and eet at one-eyed Frenchy tradin post 8 miles south of Brault farm."

  6. #6
    I use google earth program (downloaded free) and I also use alot of reference (in my library) pertaining to or tied to near Forts. There's a great book titled: Butterfield Overland Mail, 1857-1869 set. By Roscoe P Conkling and Margaret B Conkling.

    Hope this helps, TC-NM
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  7. #7
    Global Moderator Ill Digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TC-NM View Post
    I use google earth program (downloaded free) and I also use alot of reference (in my library) pertaining to or tied to near Forts. There's a great book titled: Butterfield Overland Mail, 1857-1869 set. By Roscoe P Conkling and Margaret B Conkling.

    Hope this helps, TC-NM

    Do those documents reference old trading posts near forts?
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  8. #8
    Elite Member milco's Avatar
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    Trading posts can mean different things to different people and can refer to different types of places or establishments depending on your locale and/or the time period. I'm not sure where you are at Noah, but in the Midwest and Great Lakes region when people say "trading posts" most people are referring to fur trade era sites. That said, some are documented, but many are typically very undocumented and date from the 1690's to 1820's. Find them requires a lot of research and being a good student of history, and some luck doesn't always hurt.
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  9. #9
    Elite Member milco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noah View Post
    I’m just curious, how do you find old trade posts when there’s no longer a building there?
    What part of the US are you in?
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  10. #10
    Elite Member Digger Don's Avatar
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    He lives in Northern Illinois
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  11. #11
    Global Moderator Ill Digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milco View Post
    What part of the US are you in?
    Quote Originally Posted by Digger Don View Post
    He lives in Northern Illinois
    Yeah Darren, he's a FIB like me and Don.
    You know Fine Illinois Boy
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ill Digger View Post
    Do those documents reference old trading posts near forts?
    I live here in AZ, born in NM so I'm familiar to the SW only. You are going to have to do your homework and research in what specific(s) you want. Another great book I use is titled: "New Mexico Frontier Military Place Names" by Daniel C.B. Rathbun & David V. Alexander. In where you live in N. Illinois, I don't know?

    Good Luck, TC-NM
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  13. #13
    One eyed Frenchy??
    Quote Originally Posted by Full Metal Digger View Post
    Noah, try going to historicmapworks. com and look for the oldest map of your county. For my county of St. Clair the oldest is 1864. You may find a reference "old trading post" or "old cabin" or "fmr cabin." The other way is through historical accounts, i.e. a diary entry such as "we stopd and eet at one-eyed Frenchy tradin post 8 miles south of Brault farm."

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Noah View Post
    One eyed Frenchy??
    C'mon man, everyone knows one-eyed Frenchy! She makes the best beans this side of Ontario!
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  15. #15
    "C'mon man! You know the thing!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Full Metal Digger View Post
    C'mon man, everyone knows one-eyed Frenchy! She makes the best beans this side of Ontario!

  16. #16
    Great post.
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  17. #17
    Veteran Member BTV Digger's Avatar
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    Noah, the term "trading post" is often overused in my opinion. Lots of times these were simple tavern/inn sites where folks stopped for the night (or two) and paid to lodge their horses etc. It was simply an older version of a bed and breakfast. Other's were just places in the field where farm hands were paid, or it could have been an old produce stand - found a few of those. Now, I have found that some "taverns" were more along the lines of a place to eat and dine - like a bar, while others were just the former. If the site is like the latter, then more old coins are likely. So when I find a tavern, I never assume there's gonna be handfuls of coins lying around everywhere, but there will likely be some stuff there, especially if it was well patronized. In terms of finding them, by far my most tried and true method is to read through old town history books (some online, some through libraries) and then cross reference names/locations with modern day maps. I've only had one instance ever where a property owner told me about a site. That one did prove amazing but in general those are the exception. So put on your reading glasses first, then turn to the maps. If you can find ones along major highway routes (even if they're currently in use) then those typically produce better than out of the way places. I've had success finding a few like this.

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  18. #18
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    Milco hit the nail on the head for us in the Midwest. "Trading posts" were fur trading. Mostly in Northern, Western and Central WI. I haven't found any in SE WI, but I admit I haven't looked very hard. I am from Green Bay area and I know there was quite a few in and around Green Bay and down the Fox River. Of course most of that is concrete now.
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