Joseph Robideaux’ Trading Post, also called the Blacksnake Hills Trading Post, was founded by Joseph Robidoux IV for the American Fur Company in 1826.
Located along the banks of the Missouri River at would later become St. Joseph, Missouri, the trading post prospered as Robidoux traded cloth, metal pots, and other manufactured goods for Native Americans’ furs. This location was not unknown to Robidoux as he and his family had been trading with Native Americans in Northwest Missouri since about 1799. The old trading post site was at present-day Riverfront Park in St. Joseph, Missouri.
However, after four years, Robidoux returned to independent trading but stayed in the area and employed numerous men to trade with the Native Americans to the west of his post.
Doing very well, he ultimately became the “Father” of St. Joseph when he hired two men to lay out the town, which was an immediate success.
In the late 1840s/early 1850s, Robidoux began constructing a long building built of bricks supported on a native limestone foundation. The structure became the center for his family enterprise of fur trading, which he operated with his five brothers along the Mississippi and especially the Missouri River systems.
These buildings are now known as Robidoux Row and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This historic apartment building, located at 219-225 East Poulin Street in St. Joseph, Missouri, is a one-and-a-half-story brick structure with an attached single-story brick building. The Saint Joseph Historical Society has renovated the building and operates it as a local history museum.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated February 2022.