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Fort Pierre in Stanley County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Fort Pierre Chouteau: Fur Trade (1832-1855)

 
 
Fort Pierre Chouteau: Fur Trade (1832-1855) Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 19, 2016
1. Fort Pierre Chouteau: Fur Trade (1832-1855) Marker
Inscription. The American Fur Company (A.F.C.), John Jacob Astor's enterprise, built Fort Pierre Chouteau in 1832. The fort was named for Pierre Chouteau, Jr., who ran the Western Department of the A.F.C. from St. Louis. The Upper Missouri proved profitable for the A.F.C., producing more furs between 1830 and 1865 than any other location. Buffalo robes traded by local Indian tribes formed much of the business. Chouteau convinced the A.F.C. to put steamboats on the Missouri to make shipping easier. The steamboat Yellow Stone reached Fort Pierre Chouteau in 1832.

Located not far from the confluence of the Bad and Missouri Rivers, Fort Pierre Chouteau hummed with activity. Clerks, traders, trappers, hunters, interpreters, craftsmen, and common laborers worked under the direction of a bourgeois or boss. Business meetings and tribal councils took place at the fort. Fort Pierre Chouteau served as a fur trade fort until 1855 when it became a military fort.

Sponsored by the South Dakota State Historical Society; a Preserve America grant and the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad Corporation.
Images courtesy of the South Dakota Historical Society and the National Archives.

 
Erected by The South Dakota State Historical Society, a Preserve America
Pierre Chouteau, Jr. image. Click for full size.
2. Pierre Chouteau, Jr.
grant and the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad Corporation.
 
Location. 44° 23.411′ N, 100° 23.309′ W. Marker is in Fort Pierre, South Dakota, in Stanley County. Marker can be reached from Fort Chouteau Road 0.3 miles east of State Highway 1806. Touch for map. Marker is located on the grounds of the Fort Pierre Chouteau National Historic Landmark, on the south side of the walking trail from Fort Chouteau Road. Marker is at or near this postal address: 350 Fort Chouteau Road, Fort Pierre SD 57532, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fur Trade on the Upper Missouri River (within shouting distance of this marker); Cultures Come Together (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Pierre Chouteau (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Pierre Chouteau Site (about 300 feet away); Archaeology at Fort Pierre Chouteau (about 300 feet away); Fort Pierre Chouteau: Military Occupancy (1855-1857) (about 300 feet away); Fort Pierre Choteau Trading Post (about 300 feet away); John C. Waldron (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Pierre.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large composite plaque, mounted horizontally on waist-high metal posts.
 
Related markers.
Marker detail: Steamboats made it easier to ship and receive goods image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Steamboats made it easier to ship and receive goods
The Yellow Stone was the first steamer to successfully navigate the Upper Missouri River.
Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Fort Pierre Chouteau National Historic Landmark
 
Also see . . .  Fort Pierre Chouteau, South Dakota – Largest Trading Post on the Great Plains. Fort Pierre Chouteau became the most strategic post in the Western Department of the American Fur Company. Located halfway between the headquarters at St. Louis and the northernmost posts in North Dakota and Montana, Fort Pierre Chouteau was the logical place for American Fur Company officials to gather. Its trade area covered thousands of miles of Great Plains. Not only was the fort one of the largest and best-equipped trading posts in the northern Great Plains; but, the trading activities at the site epitomized the commercial alliance between Native Americans and Euro-Americans. Its location on the Missouri River assured the success of the fortís fur business. (Submitted on October 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesIndustry & CommerceNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
Marker detail: Fort Pierre Chouteau image. Click for full size.
National Archives
4. Marker detail: Fort Pierre Chouteau
Pierre Chouteau, Jr. used Frederick Behman's 1854 watercolor to entice the U.S. Army to purchase the fort.

1. office (clerk's house behind office); 2. Bourgeois or boss's house; 3. housing for traders (kitchens are behind this building); 4. store and warehouse for goods and robes; 5. blacksmith's, tinsmith's, and saddler's shops; 6. carpenter's shop; 7. housing for laborers and traders; 8-9. store houses; 10-11. stable yard and sheds; 12. stables; 13. hen house; 14. saw mill; 15. milk house, icehouse and magazine.
Marker detail: Fort Pierre Chouteau layout image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: Fort Pierre Chouteau layout
Captain Turnley's 1855 layout of the fort (right) shows changes from a plan done by Prince Maximilian of Weld of the fort in 1833 (left).
Fort Pierre Chouteau: Fur Trade (1832-1855) Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 19, 2016
6. Fort Pierre Chouteau: Fur Trade (1832-1855) Marker (wide view)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 10, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 6, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 22 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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