History & Culture
Fort Union Trading Post history
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 northern plains tribes. This trade business continued until 1867 making it the longest lasting American fur trading post.
The fort had visits from various people who became well known during the fur trade period. Names like, George Catlin, Karl Bodmer, John James Audubon and prince Maximilian. Tribal leaders came from many of the nations that traded here at Fort Union as well. A variety of jobs by skilled workers made up many of the duties done at here.
The people, places and stories are a large part of the make up when looking at Fort Union during its historic period. 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 bourgeois house was completed in 1987, followed by the walls and bastions in 1989 and finishing the trade house in 1991.
Click to read the Historic Furnishings Report.
Did You Know?
In 1832 George Catlin, concerned about the destruction of Indian civilization, wildlife and wilderness, wrote they might be preserved "by some great protecting policy of government..in a magnificent park.. a nation's park...." which became the national park idea.