Fort Union Offers a Historical Perspective - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Fort Union Offers a Historical Perspective

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Fort Union's original design was well documented, so when the rebuilding took place, everything was put back where it belonged, if possible.

"Now we have what has been described as kind of a living history stage to explain to people just how the trade and commerce worked on the upper Missouri with the American Fur Company and the native people here," says interpretive park ranger Richard Stenberg.

Native Americans called Ft. Union "The Great White House on the Prairie." Around 13,000 people come to visit the historical spot every year.

"It kind of ties some of the things together, in terms of we've learned the fur trade, now it's bringing it to life in terms of a fort," says Don Wells.

One of the most popular places at Fort Union is the trade room. This is where Native Americans would trade for furs and other important items. Visitors learn how trading worked from a tour guide dressed in traditional Native American clothing.

"People are interested in that, it's very unique," says Russ Rocheford.

Russ Rocheford fort's history.

"I think we owe it, especially to the native Americans of the area, and what went down and how all that portrays."

Archeologists have recovered over one million artifacts from Ft Union. Some of those items are on display inside the Fort's museum, including some 383,000 trade beads.

"We've been told by some of the leading experts in the field that we have the most complete trade bead collection in North America," says Stenberg.

Wells says he would recommend everyone take a trip to the fort.

"Historically, it's helped make the country what it is today."

During the summer, Fort Union is open from 8:00 to 6:30 central time.

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