Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, 23 miles from Williston, North Dakota on the Montana border, is a beautiful and educational place to spend a fall afternoon with the family.
We made the trek over on Sunday afternoon with our four children and had a good time exploring the buildings, checking out the displays in the Bourgeois House, and roaming through the grounds.
A trading post that operated from 1828 to 1867, Fort Union was one of the most vital on the Missouri. Seven Northern Plains Indian tribes traded furs for goods such as cloth, blankets, guns, blankets, cookware, and beads. The post traded over 25,000 buffalo robes and $100,000 of merchandise each year of its operation.
The post has been partially reconstructed, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961. It is a great way to remember a period in American history where two cultures found common ground.
Park rangers are on hand to share the history of the site, and the location is often home to a variety of reenactors. Check it out in June when history buffs converge on the area for the Fort Union Rendezvous, a trade fair which includes period arts and crafts, music, and over 100 reenactors from across the country demonstrating traditional skills and materials.