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Fox of the River Voyageur Canoe

  • Horicon Marsh Education Center N7725 Wisconsin 28 Horicon, WI, 53032 United States (map)
Voyageur Canoe

The Rock River Archeological Society will present a program by the owners of the Fox of the River Voyageur Canoe at the Horicon Marsh Education Center, N7725 Hwy 28, Horicon, WI. in the Lower Level. The program will begin at 7:00 PM with doors opening at 6:30 PM.
Jerry Disterhaft and Glen Gorsuch, owners of the Voyageur Canoe, will be talking about the original Voyageurs…who they were, what their life style was, and the perils they were working under. The rewards for them were great, but the challenge was to live through the prescribed hunting period.
It was not only the collection of the furs, but the journey through the historical cities, like Green Bay, to where the actual rendezvous would take place. At the rendezvous the Voyageurs would not only receive money, but also the items which they would exchange for the furs with the Native Americans.
The story of the French exploration of the Fox River and that of the missionaries who came to make Christians of the Native Americans will be told. Father Marquette and Father Allouez were some of the very first white men the Native American saw. Both missionaries put spreading Christianity over their own health. Their importance in Wisconsin is shown in many places where their names are used to signify towns, villages, and institutions of higher education. 
It is interesting that Beaver pelts were the top pelt sought. Often the pelts were shipped back to Europe to be made into hats that all the Gentlemen wanted. A Beaver pelt hat stood up in the inclement weather and was strong enough to last for years. In the case of the family of Jerry Disterhaft, trapping lines go back in families for six generations. Today those trap lines are honored by the current trappers – almost the way the Native American honor system worked.
Glen and Jerry, both having grown up on the Fox River, will share the history of the river. There were many interesting industries on the Fox River, including the harvesting of the clam shells that later were used in the making of buttons. Paddle wheelers were on the river and offered easy shipping and passenger service that beat traveling over the early roads. Every little town along the Fox River had a dock for goods and passengers. The paddle wheelers contributed to Berlin being the “Fur capital of the nation.”
Highlights of the program will be Jerry and Glen dressed in period dress, with an explanation of the reason for each garment, the Voyageur Canoe on display as one enters the building and many beautiful pictures taken of the Voyageur Canoe and the places it has visited. A schedule will be handed out listing dates of when and where the public can see and even take a ride in the canoe. 
For more information about the Fox of the River Voyageur Canoe one may go to 
The evening is FREE to the Public and refreshments are served after the program where everyone is invited to stay and enjoy and comradeship. For more information on the evening one may call 920-928-6094.