1783-84: A number of Montreal merchants, who want to counter the monopoly over the fur trade enjoyed by the Hudson's Bay Company, make an agreement to create the North West Company, under the leadership of Simon McTavish. There is some dissension, and is not until 1787 that a stable combination is reached.
1790s: The North West Company extends its fur trade network from the St. Lawrence River Valley to the Rocky Mountains.
1804: John Sayer, a partner of the North West Company, and his crew depart from Fort St. Louis, near modern-day Superior, Wisconsin. They decide to build a fur post near the Snake River in present-day Pine City, Minnesota. The crew spends 223 days at the post, trading for goods and furs with local Ojibwe people. After they leave the post, the building is destroyed by fire at an unknown date.
1931: The Snake River site is discovered by a Pine City resident. During his explorations, he finds a musket flint on top of a sandy ridge in the middle of a cornfield. For the next three decades, he continues to visit the site and collect artifacts stirred up by plowing.
1958-59: The Pine City man happens upon the book "Five Fur Traders in the North West," which contains John Sayer's journal (wrongly attributed to a voyageur Thomas Connor). The locations mentioned in the journal point to a small sandbar ridge west of Pine City. With this information, the Pine City native realizes the significance of his find and reports it to the Minnesota Historical Society
1963: The Minnesota Historical Society performs field testing to determine the exact nature of the site
1965-67: The site is excavated by Hamline University students, led by Dr. Leland Cooper. Hundreds of artifacts are recovered, among them early Native American artifacts, musket balls, gunflints, beads, kettle parts, knives, axheads and charred animal remains.
1968-69: The Minnesota Historical Society reconstructs the 1804-1805 fur post on its former site near the Snake River.
1970: The reconstructed fur post opens to the public, first known as Connor's Fur Post and then the North West Company Fur Post.
1972: The site is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2003: A new visitor center, featuring a museum store and exhibits, open at the site.
2018: MNHS renames the historic site the Snake River Fur Post. Research shows that voyageurs and Native Americans likely referred to the North West Company's many fur posts by their geographical locations and the new name better encompasses the visitor experience.