Fort Connah, located on the Flathead Indian Reservation in the Mission Valley of Western Montana, was the last Hudson’s Bay trading post built in what is now the United States. The post, which as previously known as the Salish House and started by David Thompson, was constructed by Angus McDonald in 1847 at its current location. Fort Connah is thought to be the oldest still-standing building in Montana. Fort Connah was closed by Angus’ son Duncan in 1872, marking the end of the fur trade in the United States.
Fort Connah and the surrounding site is actively being restored by the Forth Connah Restoration Society. The society sponsors historical recreations events several times during the year.
The history of Fort Connah is steeped in the politics and realities of the fur trade in North America. The Fort Connah post, originally located near Thompson Falls, MT and known as either the Flathead Post or Salessh House, was built in 1809 by David Thompson and James McMillian of the Northwest Company. Flathead House was later merged into the Hudson Bay Company. Angus McDonald was promoted to command the Flathead House in 1847, where he assumed responsibilities from Neil MacArthur. It was decided that the post location was better suited for the Mission Valley where it stands today.
There are a number of books and manuscripts about both Fort Connah and Duncan McDonald. Links to those resources can be found below.
Books and resources about Angus McDonald, Fort Connah and the fur trade in North America
Glencoe and the Indians : a real-life family saga which spans two continents, several centuries and more than thirty generations to link Scotlands clans with the native peoples of the American West. Edinburgh: Mainstream. 1996 ISBN 1-85158-829-9.
Angus McDonald of the Great Divide Museum of North Idaho ISBN 978-0-9825220-2-8
Fort Connah: A Page in Montana’s History Stoneydale ISBN 1931291187
Scottish Highlanders, Indian Peoples: Thirty Generations of a Montana Family IS