“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Williston in Williams County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Fur Trade Forts

Protecting the Fur Trade

Fur Trade Forts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 16, 2019
1. Fur Trade Forts Marker
Captions: (bottom left) Beaver pelts were harvested to make hats.; (top center) Bison hides were harvested to make robes.; (bottom right) Mink pelts were harvested to make coats.
Inscription.  Fort Williams (1833-1834)
Fort Williams was constructed in late 1833 by the firm of Sublette & Campbell and named for one of its founders. William Sublette and Robert Campbell were St. Louis businessmen involved in the Rocky Mountain fur trade and wanted to tap into the lucrative Upper Missouri market. Their plan to oppose the American Fur Company at Fort Union collapsed by the summer of 1834 when they sold out to the Amererican Fur Company. Fort Williams was then dismantled and moved to Fort Union where it was used as a home for employees, stables for animals, and for hay storage.

Fort Mortimer (1842-1845)
Fort Mortimer was constructed by Fox, Livingston & Company of New York, and was named for Mortimer Livingston, one of the main investors in the company. Fort Mortimer was unique in that it was built out of adobe, one of the first such uses of the material on the Upper Missouri. Fort Mortimer lasted until 1845 when its partners, losing money, abandoned the fur trade along the Upper Missouri.

Fort William II (1846-1859)
Fort Mortimer was reoccupied by the firm of Harvey, Prime
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and Company in the spring of 1846 and renamed Fort William II. The St. Louis Fur Company ran a competent opposition to the American Fur Company until the death of its major partner, Alexander Harvey in 1854. The St. Louis Fur Company sold its forts in 1857 to Frost, Todd and Company who continued the opposition to the American Fur Company at Fort Union until 1859.
Erected by State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Location. 47° 59.148′ N, 103° 59.189′ W. Marker is near Williston, North Dakota, in Williams County. Marker can be reached from 39th Lane Northwest near 153rd Avenue Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 15349 39th Lane Northwest, Williston ND 58801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Buford-Trenton Project (here, next to this marker); Lewis & Clark's America (here, next to this marker); The Confluence (here, next to this marker); Oxbow Wetland (within shouting distance of this marker); Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Area (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Beaver Boom (about 400 feet away); Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence (about 500 feet away); Mosquitoes (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Williston.
More about this marker. This marker is located at a small hexagonal kiosk on the east end of the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center property. I regret that I forgot to photograph it.
Categories. Forts, Castles

More. Search the internet for Fur Trade Forts.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 29, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 29, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 44 times since then and 2 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on November 29, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A distant photo of the marker and kiosk • Can you help?
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