Rendezvous camp with Horse
Rendezvous Camp with Horse Grazing on Prairie Grasses.

NPS Photo/Emily Sunblade

Rendezvous - June 14-17, 2018

This 19th Century Fur Trade Fair includes a variety of period arts, crafts and music. Come and participate in the upper Missouri's finest fur trade fair at one of the West's most imposing historic sites.

This annual gathering is our largest event, a time when Fort Union comes alive and best reflects the busy trade season. Over 100 Re-enactors from across the country and Canada every third weekend in June demonstrating traditional skills and lifeways.

Visitor Information

Fort Union Trading Post NHS will host the annual Rendezvous, Thursday through Sunday June 14-17, 2018. Mark the dates on your calendar, and come and participate in the Upper Missouri’s finest fur trade fair at one of the West’s most imposing historic sites.

Each day will feature a variety of speakers and demonstrators. As well, our own array of trade goods will be presented in Fort Union’s Trade House.

2018 Rendezvous Headliner is fur trade historian Clay J. Landry. An avid researcher of Rocky Mountain Fur Trade history, Clay Landry’s study and emphasis on the material culture items used by the men of the Rocky Mountain Fur trade has resulted in the authorship of numerous published essays and articles. As a regular contributor to the Fur Trade Journal, the annual publication of the Museum of the Mountain Man, Pinedale, WY, Mr. Landry has essays published in seven volumes of this peer reviewed Journal and also published articles in the Museum of the Fur Trade’s Quarterly.
A research associate with the Fur Trade Research Center, Tetonia, ID, for over twenty years, Landry also serves as member of the Historical Advisory Board for the Museum of the Mountain Man.
A member of the American Mountain Men, an accomplished horseman and wilderness packer, Mr. Landry has been organizing and leading horse trips, using only gear and tack appropriate to the Fur trade era, through the Rocky Mountains various rendezvous event since 1987.
His “hands on” knowledge of the life style and culture of the mountain men led to Clay being selected as the Wilderness and Historical Advisor on the Oscar winning film “The Revenant”. Working on the production from 2014 to 2015, Landry’s primary job was to train all of the actors and extras in the guns, tools and accoutrements used by the mountain men during the early 1820’s. He also worked closely with the Props department and the set decorators to insure that all of the tools and equipment used were correct for the time period portrayed.
Also boot and saddle maker, Clay and his wife Jamie, own and operate Historical Leather Works, which specializes in crafting historically correct fur trade era boots, saddles and horse gear.

Clay Landry will be speaking at Fort Union’s Annual Rendezvous at 2:00 Central TIme on Friday June 15th, Saturday June 16th and Sunday June 17th on “The Rocky Mountain Trapper, His Lifestyle, Livelihood and Survival.” His presentation will detail the origins, individual motivations, financial rewards and daily challenges of the early nineteenth century men who were the Rocky Mountain trappers. He will also discuss some of his experiences while working as a Technical advisor on the academy award winning movie about mountain man Hugh Glass-“The Revenant."

2018 Rendezvous Schedule of Events
Many favorite demonstrators are returning and we will have a food concessionaire on site. In all, it promises to be another grand event!

27th Annual Rendezvous Run - Sponsored by Williston Parks & Recreation
Come run at one of the West's most imposing historic sites and check out a 19th Century Fur Trade Fair with a variety of period arts, crafts and music. Register for one of 5k walk, 5k run, 11k run, Heavy Weight (190lb+), Fur Trader (dress as a fur trader) or Kids 1 mile. Family Registration consists of immediate family members including 2 adults and up to 4 kids. For more information or to register please visit run sponsor website

Participant Information
Are you intrested in participating in the Fort Union Rendezvous? Please first read the full Safety and Authenticity Standards for Fort Fort Union Trading Post NHS, and then contact site Volunteer In Parks Coordinator Lisa Sanden at 701-572-1029 x218 or for more information.

Basic Information
The staff at Fort Union Trading Post NHS seeks a historically accurate depiction of life at Fort Union Trading Post NHS. To that end, certain standards are expected of all participants.

Gear and Clothing
We concentrate on the period 1828-1867. Clothing, camp equipment and materials should meet the test of being representative of the period. We do however, want all to feel welcome and colonial era (1770s era) is appropriate to this event. This event is co-managed with the Fort Union Muzzle Loader Association, their Bourgeois and Fort Union Park Staff will be available in camp for questions or concerns.
The primary focus of Rendezvous events is to portray and re-create of historic lifeways and material culture; including activities, camping equipment, fashion, and weapons, common on the Northern Plains during Fort Union's period of significance. We ask that you make friendly, personal contacts with our visitors. Such contacts will help create an interactive learning event.

Interpretive Themes
All interpretation should illustrate the interactions between American Indians from the Upper Missouri Tribes (Assiniboine, Crow, Blackfeet, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arkiara and Lakota and Dakota Sioux); the tribes and Euro-Americans (American Fur Company employees, trappers, independent traders, hunters, rivermen, missionaries, slaves, visiting artists and scientists, military personnel, etc.); and among Euro-Americans who lived in, worked or traded at, or visited Fort Union in the early to mid-19th century. You can help our visitors understand what daily activities these people engaged in, what problems and challenges each of them faced, and how they may have dealt with them. You can use your experiences to help bring to life the fur trade story of Fort Union Trading Post.
This event is cosponsored by the National Park Service and the Friends of Fort Union Trading Post, of Williston, North Dakota.
The Fort Union Muzzle Loaders will assist the Park Service in policing the camp site.
All participants must sign a VIP volunteer agreement in order to participate and/or camp at Rendezvous.
Help protect and preserve this site's history and resources for future visitors' education and enjoyment while ensuring your own and current visitors' safety.

Last updated: June 10, 2018

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Mailing Address:

15550 Highway 1804
Williston, ND 58801


(701) 572-9083

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