Fort la Reine

Fort la Reine is the name used for a series of early French fur-trade posts located west of Winnipeg on the Assiniboine River. The original fort was established in 1738 by Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye and his sons, independent fur traders and explorers. The log fort was the La Vérendrye headquarters for a series of expeditions into the Canadian prairies in quest of the rumoured "Western Sea." It was also a natural portage point from the southern water route of the native people and French traders to Lake Manitoba and the North. While historical records indicate the fort being abandoned, burned and rebuilt at least twice over a few decades, its exact locations and dates are in some question. Although there is evidence that the first post was near the present-day community of Poplar Point, its traditional location is generally acknowledged as being near Portage la Prairie, approximately 25 km southwest. In 1928 a federal plaque was erected to commemorate Fort la Reine's history, and a reconstructed post was built just east of Portage la Prairie.