Respected Historian Travels to Williston to Present on Fur Trade | Williston State College

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Respected Historian Travels to Williston to Present on Fur Trade

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Respected Historian Travels to Williston to Present on Fur Trade

Posted: Aug 27 2018

Williston, N.D. - Dr. James A. Hanson, historian and editor for the Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron, Nebraska, will present on the fur trade at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 30 at the Williston ARC.  

The presentation, "Old Trail and New Directions," focuses on what is known and what research on the fur trade is still to be done. Sponsored by the Williston State College Arts and Human Sciences department in conjunction with the National Park Service at the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, this event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

The Museum of the Fur Trade was founded by Dr. Hanson's father, Charles E. Hanson, Jr. a devout historian who authored over 500 articles and four books on the subject. The museum, whose collections and research are respected worldwide, owns its extensive collection outright, ensuring the permanent availability of artifacts to reach more of the public.  

Dr. Hanson's expertise is on the material culture of the fur trade and he has spent most of his life studying and writing on the subject.  

Dr. Hanson assisted Alejandro González Iñárritu, director of The Revenant, with some of the finer details to make the Academy Award winning film more realistic. "I advised them on language, on trapping, on building fires," explained Dr. Hanson. "I got calls from New York hairdressers who were designing the Indian face paint and hair."  

As a thank you, four full costumes from the movie were donated to the Museum of the Fur Trade and are on display.  

In addition to the Thursday evening presentation, Dr. Hanson will present a different topic on Saturday, September 1 at 3 p.m. as part of Fort Union's Living History Weekend.  

Living History Weekend runs September 1-3 with Last Bell Tours beginning at 8:00 p.m. Central Time on September 1.  

For more information on "Old Trail and New Directions," Living History Weekend, or history classes at WSC, please contact Richard Stenberg at 701.774.4262 or

For any information regarding WSC, please visit, call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.  

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