John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company built Fort Union Trading Post in 1828 near the junction of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers in what is now North Dakota. In it's heyday, the post was a busy place and employed up to 100 people. It became the headquarters for trading buffalo hides and other furs with the Assiniboine, Crow, Cree, Ojibway, Blackfeet, and Hidatsa Tribes.
Fort Union Trading Post was established in 1828 by the American Fur Company. It was not a government or military post, but a business, established for the specific purpose of doing business with the Plains Indians. It lasted until 1867, making it the longest-lasting American fur trading post. At that time, it was purchased by the U S Army and torn down to provide building materials for the expansion of Fort Buford, a military post a few miles downstream.
With the help of local citizens and agencies, the site was acquired by the National Park Service in 1966. After three archaeological projects, reconstruction of the Bourgeius House was begun in 1987, followed by the walls and bastions and finishing with the Trade House in 1991.
Still considered an archaeological site, Fort Union protects the relics of a unique era of history that is brought to life in its reconstructed buildings.
A trip to Fort Union takes you back in time to the mid-19th century, the heyday of Fort Union and the fur trade on the Upper Missouri river.
Tour the partially reconstructed fort and walk where many famous folk from several countries and cultures walked, folk such as Kenneth McKenzie, Alexander & Natawista Culbertson, Father Pierre DeSmet, Sitting Bull, Karl Bodmer, and Jim Bridger.
Fort Union Trading Post was the most important fur trading post on the upper Missouri from 1828 to 1867. At this post, the Assiniboine, Crow, Cree, Ojibway, Blackfeet, Hidatsa, and other tribes traded buffalo robes and other furs for trade goods such as beads, guns, blankets, knives, cookware, and cloth.
Today, the reconstructed Fort Union represents a unique era in American history, a brief period when two different civilizations found common ground and mutual benefit through commercial exchange and cultural acceptance.
Plane - Commercial flights are available through Williston ND and Sidney MT. <P> <br>Car - Just off North Dakota State Highway 1804, 25 miles southwest of Williston ND and 24 miles northeast of Sidney MT. <P> <br>Public Transportation - The parking lot provides ample space for school and tour buses. <P>