Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site

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Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site

Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site is the site of a partially reconstructed trading post on the Missouri River and the North Dakota/Montana border twenty-five miles from Williston. It is one of the earliest declared National Historic Landmarks of the United States. The fort, perhaps first known as Fort Henry, was built in 1828 or 1829 by the Upper Missouri Outfit managed by Kenneth McKenzie and capitalized by John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company.

Fort Union Trading Post was the most important fur trading post on the upper Missouri until 1867. At this post, the Assiniboine, Crow, Cree, Ojibwe, Blackfoot, Hidatsa, and other tribes traded buffalo robes and furs for trade goods including items such as beads, clay pipes, guns, blankets, knives, cookware, cloth, and especially alcohol. Historic visitors to the fort included John James Audubon, George Catlin, Father Pierre DeSmet, Sitting Bull, Karl Bodmer, and Jim Bridger.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

Today, the reconstructed Fort Union memorializes a brief period in American history when two cultures found common ground and mutual benefit through commercial exchange and cultural acceptance.

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Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference and added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com