WILLISTON, N.D. - Every Labor Day weekend for over twenty years Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site has hosted muzzleloaders, buck skinners and fur trade reenactors to participate in a series of prepared scenes based on real historical events at occurred during Fort Union's years of operation from 1828 to 1867.
Dr. Raymond Nadolny, Williston State College President will participate as a period piece re-enactor when Fort Union hosts its Last Bell Tour during Living History Weekend over Labor Day Weekend, September 5-7.
Richard Stenberg, Associate Professor of History & Political Science at WSC has again written the reenactment script. Stenberg has been a Park Ranger at Fort Union in his summers for over twenty seasons.
"This is the 15th script I have written for the weekend," Stenberg explained. "Some people might think I might run out of ideas, but we have such a rich documented history of Fort Union, there is many events to draw from. As an academic historian I have the best of both worlds: I get to research and write history and then during the Last Bell tour we get to present history."
Throughout the weekend, over 30 participants will demonstrate the day-to-day work routine of fur company employees. This includes presenting black powder shootings, tradesmen working in the blacksmith and carpenter shops, and to re-enact the Last Bell.
On Saturday evening September 5, after the last bell is rung to close the fort for the night, The Last Bell Tour will begin. Visitors will be led by candle through Stenberg's first-person and scripted scenes. This year's script was based off events that occurred from June 17 until mid-July of 1832 when western artist George Catlin visited the fort.
Dr. Nadolny will play James A. Hamilton, Fort Union's Chief Clerk (2nd in charge). "One of the characteristics of this man was that he was versed in the classics, specifically philosophy," Stenberg explained. "Since Dr. Nadolny has a degree in philosophy, I thought he would be a good fit." James A. Hamilton was said to be immaculately dressed and well perfumed. He wore the latest London fashions, which were sent to St. Louis and then steam boated to Fort Union once a year.
Ranger led tours will commence at the lower parking lot starting at 8:00 p.m. CST at Fort Union, located at 15550 Highway 1804 Williston, ND. Admission is free. Friends, family and students are welcome to attend.
For more information please contact, Richard Stenberg, at 701.774.4262
or for additional information regarding WSC, please visit www.willistonstate.edu,
call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.