Add Your Event

Please do NOT contact Crazy Crow about these events, except for corrections.
We provide these listings as a service, and we have nothing to do with the events. So you must contact the event sponsors for further information and validation of location, dates & times!
Loading Events

← Back to Events

Fort Union Trading Post

Google Map
15550 Highway 1804
Williston, ND 58801 United States
(701) 572-9083 https://www.nps.gov/fous/

Fort Union Trading Post was constructed on the spacious plains in 1828, near where the mighty Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers joined by John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company. This fort went on to become its most famous fur trade post. Although called a fort, the post was neither a government nor a military installation, but a privately owned commercial establishment founded to engage in business with the Northern Plains Tribes.

Built at the request of the Assiniboine nation, Fort Union Trading Post, then called Fort Union, quickly emerged as the Upper Missouri’s most profitable fur trade post. This trade business continued until 1867, giving rise to a uniquely diverse, peaceful, and productive social and cultural environment that helped make Fort Union western America’s longest-lasting fur trade post.

Read More
From 1828 to 1867, seven Upper Missouri tribes—Assiniboine, Plains Cree, Blackfeet, Plains Chippewa, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikiara—annually traded buffalo hides, beaver pelts, and other furs for hundreds of goods imported from eight countries. In exchange for furs that ranged from grizzly bear and bison to mice, tribal trading partners received manufactured materials such as calico cloth, guns and ammunition, clothing, pipes, beads, and cooking ware. On average, the post received more than 25,000 buffalo robes and sold more than $100,000 in merchandise each year. The post also provided federal Indian agents with a base of operations and storage warehouse before the national government established a permanent presence in the Trans-Mississippi West after the Civil War.

The Indian and fur trades weren’t the only post activities that contributed to Fort Union’s longevity and legacy. The American Fur Company and its successors routinely hosted well-known visitors during the fur trade period. George Catlin, Prince Maximilian of Wied, Karl Bodmer, and John James Audubon were but a few of the many artists and scientists who came to the Upper Missouri fort to learn about and document the region’s native peoples, wildlife, and landscape. Their observations, recorded in sketches, paintings, and journals later shared with people in the East and overseas, made the region the most well documented in the American West prior to photography’s widespread adoption.

By the 1860s, settlers moved west from the States, a migration that accelerated not long after the Dakota Territory was established in 1861. To protect at first the Missouri River, the major transportation corridor into the Northern Plains, and then the growing Euro-American settlements in the formerly tribal-controlled Upper Missouri region, the U.S. Army in 1866 built Fort Buford three miles east of the trade post. The next year, in 1867, the Army purchased Fort Union from its last private owner, the Northwest Fur Company. Soldiers dismantled the palisades and bastions and transported the salvaged timber and stone to the new Army post, where both were used for building materials. The crews of passing riverboats also scavenged what wood they could for firewood to feed steam engines powering the Missouri River’s swelling steamboat traffic. Within a few years, little visible trace remained of the Upper Missouri’s once-dominate commercial hub.

View Fort Union Trading Post Rendezvous Details

View Fort Union Trading Post Indian Arts Showcase Details

View Fort Union Trading Post Living History Weekend Details

Fort Union Trading Post Rendezvous - Williston North Dakota

August 2019

+ Export Events

Add Your Event

Please do NOT contact Crazy Crow about these events, except for corrections.
We provide these listings as a service, and we have nothing to do with the events. So you must contact the event sponsors for further information and validation of location, dates & times!

Keep in Touch with Crazy Crow

Be among the first to know about  latest 
sales, closeouts & more!
Join Our Mailing List
SIGNUP FOR ENEWS TODAY