The Fort Union Rendezvous is an annual event that commemorates the fur trade era on the Upper Missouri River. The historical reenactments scheduled each summer focus on and illustrate the years during which Fort Union operated as a trading post, 1828-1867.
The Fort Union Muzzle Loaders Association (FUMLA) have been a key component to the reconstruction of Fort Union. If not for their passion and dedication to the site, the reconstruction of Fort Union may have never taken place. This photo gallery contains images of the ongoing contributions of the FUMLA members, including their several building projects such as benches, boat, fur press, and the hunter's and carpenter's shack.
The Indian Arts Showcase is an annual event that commemorates American Indian history and culture through storytelling, music, traditional crafts, and presentations by tribal elders and historians from the Upper Missouri tribes.
One can see mammals at Fort Union Trading Post? You better believe it. There's an amazing and often surprising variety of mammals or signs of them to be seen. Why? Because the historic fur trade fort faces the Missouri River and its partially wooded bottoms, which provides mammals with ready access to food, water, and shelter. The open and partially restored prairie that encompasses the fort's remaining three sides likewise offers mammals such as mule and white-tail deer food and easy access to the river.
More than 180 years after the American Fur Company chose the location to build its grandest Upper Missouri trading post, the landscape remains one the posts' builders and employees would readily recognize. The location selected wasn't one they'd themselves picked out, however; it was a spot suggested by members of the Assiniboine tribe long-familiar with the region. They knew the dense gravel deposits on the Missouri River's north bank west of the Yellowstone River helped to prevent the land's erosion. That wisdom alone helped to preserve the fort's remains, which made it possible to reconstruct the post on its original location in the 1980s and 1990s. This is why the views from today's Fort Union so closely resemble the historic scenes preserved in drawings, paintings, sketches, and photogrphs produced during the post's active years, 1828-1867.
Between 1828 and 1867, Fort Union anchored the fur trade on the Upper Missouri River. Although the original post did not survive intact to the present day, material goods produced and used by the fur trade post’s employees and trading partners did. In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, archeologists unearthed about a million individual fur-trade-era artifacts that many layers of soil had protected from the weather. Today, these artifacts offer clues as to what life at Fort Union may have been like while it was in operation. This photo gallery contains images of artifacts that were excavated at the fort prior to its reconstruction in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Future excavations will likely add to this vast and best-of-its-kind collection of fur-trade-period artifacts.
Park staff will add new artifact images and descriptions in the coming months and years. As you browse the gallery’s current and future images, click on the image to see a larger version. Click on the hyperlinked “More” in the description beneath each image to read the full text about each object.