Historic Trading Posts of Eastern Montana              ...an Eastern Montana perspective                             


Fort Union Trading Post* is a National Historic Site.  John Jacobs Astor's  American Fur Company built the trading post in 1828.  The trading post was active during the early and middle 1800's.  It became the headquarters for trading bison hides and other furs with the Assiniboine Indians to the north, the Crow Indians on the upper Yellowstone and the Blackfeet who lived farther up the Missouri River. 

*The trading post is located at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers and is on the Montana-North Dakota border.  If the government surveyor had been "a little off" in his measurement, the post could have ended up within the boundary of Montana... but, he wasn't, so the fort's structures are in the state of North Dakota... but, many of the fort's livestock grazed on Montana prairie grass.

The trading post is just 20+ miles southeast of Culbertson, Montana, and 20+ miles northeast of Sidney, Montana.  Each have camping, lodging and food facilities.  Sidney has the larger camping grounds. 

The trading post is open year around with some seasonal restrictions.


                                                  The sign as you arrive at Fort Union                             Fort Union' s  Entrance


                                                          The Bourgeois House at Fort Union                          photos by sid blair

Fort Peck Trading Post (1867-1879) was located near the town of Fort Peck, Montana, a couple of miles from the present day dam, and was a trading post doing  trade with Assiniboine and Sioux.  The trading post was built by Abel Farwell, who was part of Durfee and Peck who operated several trading posts along the Missouri River.  It was said that the trading post rivaled Fort Union which was located farther east down the Missouri  River.  The trading post was built in 1867 and abandoned in 1879.  The information that I have is that the structure was swept away by the mighty Missouri River as it changed its meandering course so any remains, if any, of the fort are underwater.... so you do not have fort remnants to view, but.... the Fort Peck area has much to offer to the visitor.  Below is a partial sketch of a rendition of Old Fort Peck by Arthur H. Buckley that the author of this site had viewed.

                             a sketch by sid blair

                                                                                     Old Fort Peck

Old Fort Gilbert (1864-1867) was named after Colonel Gilbert, a one time commanding officer at Fort Buford, the military fort, and existed between the years 1864 and 1867.  It was used as a trading center in the lower Yellowstone Valley.  It was located at the south boundary of the Fort Buford Military Reservation.  There is not a fort to visit, but you can take a side road for a short distance and have an excellent view of the area's Yellowstone Valley.

A marker locates the site about 5 miles north of Sidney, Montana on state highway 200.


                                  The road sign identifying Old Fort Gilbert                 photo by sid blair


See Disclaimer @ Eastern Montana .. a perspective