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Fort Union Trading Post

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1828 established; 1985–1991 reconstruction, YHR Partners. 15550 ND 1804, 11.5 miles southwest of Trenton
  • (Photograph by Steve C. Martens)

Fort Union Trading Post was considered the most important and most elaborately furnished of all the Upper Missouri River posts. It was a primary post for trading fur and skins, from beaver pelts to buffalo hide. In addition, the fort attracted attention from artists, scientists, government surveying teams, miners, and West Coast-bound emigrants. The post, built by John Jacob Astor for his American Fur Company, became a primary meeting place for Blackfeet, Assiniboine, Arikara, Sioux, Plains Cree, and Crow Indians. Initially, the buildings were mainly of log construction, but the site was dominated by the Bourgeois House, which was altered in 1851 with Greek Revival features and painted in a startling red, white, and blue color scheme. In 1867, the fort was dismantled. Following extensive archaeological investigation, the National Park Service supervised reconstruction of the fort from 1985 to 1991 as a National Historic Landmark. All features at the site are historical reconstructions.

Writing Credits

Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay


What's Nearby


Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "Fort Union Trading Post", [Williston, North Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of North Dakota

Buildings of North Dakota, Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 149-150.

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