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Retracing history: Making long-forgotten fur trade portage

LANCASTER, Pa. — On a cold and sunny winter day on Dec. 30, six local residents gathered at a rural road near the Lancaster-Berks line and unloaded a wooden canoe, a faux fur and an old jug of the kind that once held rum. The ensemble began pushing the 85-pound canoe through knee-deep swampy mud, at one point having to hoist the canoe over a turned-off electric fence. It may have seemed somewhat comical, but the group may have been retracing an arduous and important fur trade portage for the first time in 250 years. Co-organizer Ben Webber of Manheim Township calls it a “bit of frivolous adventuring and historical reenactment.” 

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