Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site
Located near La Junta, Colorado. William and Charles Bent, along with Ceran St. Vrain, built the original fort on this site in 1833 to trade with plains Indians and trappers. The adobe fort quickly became the center of the Bent, St.Vrain Company’s expanding trade empire that included Fort St.Vrain to the north and Fort Adobe to the south, along with company stores in Mexico at Taos and Santa Fe. The primary trade was with the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians for buffalo robes.
Colonial Michilimackinac – Mackinaw City, Michigan
Colonial Michilimackinac is a reconstructed 1715 French fur-trading village and military outpost that was later occupied by British military and traders. Today, it features re-enactments from British 1770s occupation and the American Revolution era. A National Historic Landmark, Colonial Michilimackinac is accredited by American Association of Museums. Colonial Michilimackinac is located in Mackinaw City, Michigan at the base of the Mackinac Bridge. Check the website for daily schedule & activities.
Conner Prairie – Fishers, Indiana
Conner Prairie is one of the largest attractions in the region and one of the most visited outdoor museums in the country. They have a long history of innovation that spans the fields of science, history, art, and nature. On their grounds, every guest has the opportunity to pursue fun and knowledge in a way that is tailored to them. In a time where meals are rushed and everyone is in a hurry to get to soccer practice or ballet class, Conner Prairie provides families with multi-generational opportunities to come together, interact and learn in new and unique ways in the heart of Indiana. Every day, they inspire curiosity and foster meaningful interaction with unique, engaging experiences that donâ€™t exist anywhere else.
Fort Belle Fontaine Historic Site – St. Louis, MO
Established in 1805 on the south, low-lying bank of the Missouri River, near the confluence of the Mississippi River, Belle Fontaine was the first U.S. military post located in the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. Originally called Cantonment Belle Fontaine, it served as an American Indian trading post for local Sac, Fox and other American Indian tribes.
From its early days, the Belle Fontaine site served as the launching or stopover point for a number of expeditions to the far reaches of the American West. Among those explorers was pioneering military officer Zebulon Pike & Lewis and Clark.
Fort Clatsop National Memorial – Astoria, OR – The Wintering Post 1805-1806 Web Exhibit!
This site commemorates the 1805-06 winter encampment of the 33-member Lewis and Clark Expedition. A 1955 community-built replica of the explorers’ 50’x50′ Fort Clatsop is the focus of this 125-acre park. The fort, historic canoe landing, and spring are nestled in the coastal forests and wetlands of the Coast Range as it merges with the Columbia River Estuary. The Salt Works unit commemorates the expedition’s salt-making activities. Salt obtained from sea water was essential to the explorers’ winter at Fort Clatsop and their journey back to the United States in 1806.
Fort Mackinac – Mackinaw City, Michigan
Constructed by British soldiers during the American Revolution, Fort Mackinac served as a sentinel in the Straits of Mackinac for 115 years. Today the original restored fort is a National Historic Landmark. Begin your tour with the audio visual presentation, “Heritage of Mackinac,” in the Post Commissary. Then trace the footsteps of British and American troops as you explore the historic buildings, enjoy the exhibits, and watch lively demonstrations.
Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson Park – Wetumpka, AL Web Exhibit!
The site of Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson Park has been occupied for more than three thousand years. In 1717, the French joined the Native American populations, building the first Fort Toulouse at the head of the Alabama River. Erosion of the Coosa River bank led to the rebuilding of the fort.
The fort is the host to an active Living History program, providing insight into the Native American and military history of the site and lifestyle during the 18th and early 19th centuries. There are monthly Living History presentations, as well as major events in the spring and fall. Open daily except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Minimal Admission and Campground Fees Charged. Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson is located just north of Montgomery, off US Highway 231 at Fort Toulouse Road, Wetumpka, Alabama 36092 (334) 567-3002.
Fort Mandan – Washburn, North Dakota – The Wintering Post 1804-1805
The Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived at the Mandan-Hidatsa Indian villages on the Upper Missouri River on October 25, 1804. They found the Mandan people very hospitable and decided to remain at this wintering site until the spring thaw when they would resume their up-river journey. On November 3, William Clark made a simple entry in his journal, “We commence building our cabins.” These cabins formed part of an enclosure that was christened Fort Mandan in honor of their hosts. As it turned out, Fort Mandan was occupied longer than any of the three winter posts used by the expedition.
Fort Nisqually Historic Site – Tacoma, WA
A Hudson’s Bay Company outpost built in 1833, Fort Nisqually was the first European settlement on Puget Sound. Fort Nisqually is now a living history museum where volunteers and staff, in period clothing, demonstrate the crafts of the 19th century and engage visitors in historic dialogue during the Living History Days and other events throughout the year. Website is full of info and is easy to navigate.
Fort Vancouver – Vancouver, WA
Fort Vancouver was a surprising place: it was a fur trade post, but employed more people at agriculture than any other activity. It was a large business that kept order and stability by employing many different ethnic groups. It was a British establishment, but the primary languages were Canadian French and Chinook Jargon. It represented British territorial interests, yet made American settlement in the Northwest possible. Cultural demonstrations and evening programs are held during the summer months, cultural demonstrations and evening programs highlight the ethnic and cultural diversity of the original population of Fort Vancouver. Virtual tour available online. For more information, check the website.
Historic Deerfield Massachusettes
First settled in 1669, Deerfield is one of the few towns settled by English colonists along the eastern seaboard that retains its original scale and town plan. “Historic Deerfield Inc.”, founded in 1952, is an outdoor history museum that focuses on the history and culture of the Connecticut River Valley and early New England. It both educates about the lifestyles of the diverse people who lived here long ago and of preserves antique buildings and collections of regional furniture, silver, textiles, and other decorative arts. Visitors are offered guided and self-guided tours of 12 antique houses ranging in age from 1730 to 1850. Eleven of these houses are on their original sites.
North West Company Fur Post – Pine City, Minnesota
The North West Company Snake River post near Pine City, Minnesota is an authentic reconstruction of a fur-trade wintering post built and operated under the direction of company partner John Sayer during the years 1804-05. The post has been reconstructed on its original 1804 site. A new Visitors Center features a retail shop and modern amenities, with an exhibits hall scheduled to open in the spring of 2003. New for 2002: Guided tours of the historic site are offered, including to a relocated Ojibwe encampmen. Enjoy walking the heritage trails.
Prickett’s Fort State Park
Prickett’s Fort is a day-use historical and recreational park, located just north of Fairmont, West Virginia, two miles off I-79 at Exit 139. The original fort was built at the confluence of Prickett’s Creek and the Monongahela River in 1774, and provided a place of refuge for early settlers to the area. Now a state park, the site also includes the Job Prickett House, c. 1859, listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Both the reconstructed fort and the Prickett House are open for public tours from mid-April to Nov. 1, with a living history style interpretation. Visitors enjoy seeing costumed artisans at work weaving, blacksmithing, cooking, and building muzzleloader firearms. A dozen or more special events are conducted annually.
Old Fort William – Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Old Fort William is a provincially-funded historic site operated by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. Through its living history program, the Fort depicts the fur trade activities of the North West Company at Old Fort William, inland headquarters and site of the Company’s annual Rendezvous from 1803-1821.
A CD-ROM package includes a virtual tour of Old Fort William — biographies, a timeline, a place index map, complete cross-disciplinary study units in science and technology, cultural dynamics, a history of the fur trade and a Teacher’s Guide. “Northwest to the Pacific: A Fur Trade Odyssey” is one of the most exciting historical CD-ROMs ever produced.
Wyoming State Historic Sites
Wyoming owes its early settlement in part to the gentlemen of Europe. Their fondness of beaver top hats sent early-day trappers to the Rocky Mountains in search of the prized pelts. Famous mountain men such as Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, Davey Jackson and Jedediah Smith were among the trappers, explorers and traders to first roam the Wyoming territory.