This site contains the archaeological remains of two fur trading posts, a large earthlodge village, and related features reflecting early contact between Native Americans and Europeans. The Fort Clark trading post was constructed in 1831 by James Kipp for the Upper Missouri Outfit (UMO) of the American Fur Company. This fort was abandoned in 1860 when the south half burned. The other trading post, Primeau’s Post, was built c. 1850 by Harvey, Primeau and Company of St. Louis to compete with Fort Clark. The Primeau trading post was apparently occupied by UMO personnel in 1860 and 1861 after Fort Clark burned. The entire site was abandoned when the village was vacated in 1861. Remnants of travois (sled) trails have been detected on the ground, especially in the northwest quarter of the district. The remnants of the trails consist of three parallel grooves—two for the tips of the poles of the travois and one made by horses’ hooves. These trails appear to have connected the major villages during the period of village and fort occupation. Little remains in the way of standing features at this site, which was disturbed by federal work relief investigations in the 1930s and is being reinterpreted at present.
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Fort Clark State Historic Site and Archaeological District
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