The Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center is located near Williston, North Dakota, less than half a mile from the Fort Buford State Historic Site. The center offers exhibits related to the prehistoric, natural, tribal, and pioneer history of the area. The main gallery houses artifacts and information focusing on Lewis and Clark’s visit to the area in 1805 and 1806, the fur trade, Fort Buford, and the development of modern irrigation and electricity in North Dakota. Over 200 artifacts are housed here, including a frontier army transport wagon, a steamboat pilot’s navigating wheel, and a 1904 Model A Cadillac. There’s also a small gift shop, boat ramp, and campground nearby. Those wishing for a more riparian experience may walk along the river on maintained trails just like countless Native Americans and explorers have done for hundreds of years.
At Fort Buford, visitors can explore the remnants of the frontier military post and stand in the room where Sioux Chief Sitting Bull offered his surrender. The officers’ quarters now serve as a museum with exhibits depicting army life on the plains and the role of women at an army base. Other original buildings remain, including the stone powder magazine and a wood-frame officer of the guard building. Visitors can also stroll through the fort cemetery containing the reconstructed grave markers of fallen soldiers.
A $5.00 admission fee provides access to a 20-minute film and guided tour through both the interpretive center and the buildings of Fort Buford. The area is well known for recreational events including a paddle-fishing operation in the spring and the annual Fort Buford Sixth Infantry Frontier Military Encampment in the summer.