This is either a really nice gesture or some remarkable trolling, but we hope it was a nice gesture.

Via Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “Great moment between @JustinTrudeau and @POTUS when he gave him picture of the President’s grandfather’s hotel in Canada”:

It was more than just a hotel, however, and Trudeau had to know that, right?

Here’s the story of Friedrich’s journey from New York to the Yukon, which reads like something out of a James Michener novel. An excerpt:

After boarding a crowded ship to Alaska, Trump trekked over mountains, through Canadian customs, and to the Yukon River where he had to build a boat from scratch and transport a year’s worth of personal supplies.

The worst was a notorious mountain pass. The U.S. National Parks Service estimates 3,000 animals died on the White Pass, with many bones still visible today in its so-called Dead Horse Gulch.

“Owners whipped horses, donkeys, mules, oxen, and dogs until they dropped. The bodies were not buried or even moved,” Blair writes.

“Travellers … had no choice but to walk over the remains. As the months went by, the walls of the pass were stained dark red from the blood.”

Trump smelled opportunity.

He opened a canteen along the route, Blair says, where weary travellers likely stopped for a bite of Arctic roadkill. There are records for similar establishments along the route, Blair writes: “A frequent dish was fresh-slaughtered, quick-frozen horse.”

But the real money was made from the liquor and sex:

“The bulk of the cash flow came from the sale of liquor and sex,” Blair wrote. She cited newspaper ads referring obliquely to prostitution — mentioning private suites for ladies, and scales in the rooms so patrons could weigh gold if they preferred to pay for services that way.

Friedrich Trump, after making a fortune in Canada, moved back to Germany in 1901 and later to New York where the rest, as they say, is history. Via Bloomberg:

Trump was a rich man when he left Whitehorse in 1901 to return to his native Kallstadt, Germany, where he later deposited savings of 80,000 marks in the village treasury, Blair recounts. Unable to regain German citizenship, he returned to New York with his riches. That amount—equivalent in purchasing power to about half a million euros in 2014—ended up funding the Trump family’s first residential real estate investments in the New York area, later carried on by his son Fred and grandson Donald.

***