Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site

Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site This site is operated by the State Historical Society of North Dakota
Open Memorial Day to Labor Day
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SITE AMENITIES: New Interpretive Center (ADA accessible) Permanent Exhibits Reconstructed Bastions and Palisade Original Guard House COST: Museum and Exhibits $7 for adults $3 for children 6-14 $1 for students in supervised school groups $2 per person for groups of 20 or more. HOURS: May 16 - September 15, 9 am - 5 pm, daily.(CDT)

Peace Conference at Fort Abercrombie August 14 1870. A Catholic priest from the mission south of Fargo got the two tribe...
12/24/2018

Peace Conference at Fort Abercrombie August 14 1870. A Catholic priest from the mission south of Fargo got the two tribes together for a week long conference. The two tribes were fighting over land, hunting and fishing right for over 200 years prior to this peace conference. They had many peace conferences , but this one took and settled down the conflicts in the region. Photo SHSND

12/18/2018
1898-1899 Fargo Goes to War

Great preservation of North Dakota History and the “North Dakota Way” Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site staff member Carole Butcher’s dissertation topic and part of the 2018 NDSU Digital History Class Project. Carole has a great passion for North Dakota History.

A documentary film by the Fargo History Project is not the big sweeping story of presidents and generals and famous names. It is the story of ordinary people—the…

Fort Abercrombie, Whitestone Hill, Killdeer Mountain, and many other state historic sites are connected by the story of ...
12/17/2018

Fort Abercrombie, Whitestone Hill, Killdeer Mountain, and many other state historic sites are connected by the story of the US-Dakota War.

Rev. Aaron McGaffey Beede was one of the first non-natives to publicly acknowledge the wrongfulness of what happened at Whitestone, doing so in a speech in front of the governor and 5,000 attendees at this event in 1914. A resident at Standing Rock, Beede learned about Whitestone from his Dakota and Lakota neighbors.

The Fort Abercrombie quilt was started by Sophie Braun at the age 16. When Sophie married the fort surgeon Edmund Braun,...
12/17/2018

The Fort Abercrombie quilt was started by Sophie Braun at the age 16. When Sophie married the fort surgeon Edmund Braun, she brought the quilt with her to Fort Abercrombie. The quilt was worked on during the siege of Fort Abercrombie in 1862. The quilt was on display at Fort Abercrombie during the summer of 2018.

Camp Hancock's 1872 officers quarters just got a brand new coat of paint inside.
12/12/2018

Camp Hancock's 1872 officers quarters just got a brand new coat of paint inside.

We updated the exhibit space at Camp Hancock! Come check it out Saturday, 6 to 8 p.m.

The steamboat "Selkirk" was built at McCauleyville MN in 1870. Over 100 river boats were built at McCauleyville across t...
12/10/2018

The steamboat "Selkirk" was built at McCauleyville MN in 1870. Over 100 river boats were built at McCauleyville across the Red River from Fort Abercrombie. Steamboat traffic continued on the Red River until the railroad bridge from Fargo to Moorhead was built. Steamboats were hauling goods for the Hudson Bay Company from Fort Abercrombie to Fort Gary in Canada. Just imagine the challenges of navigating the Red River with a steamboat.

The soldiers from Fort Abercrombie were sent to Fort Wadsworth to help build the fort in 1864. Fort Wadsworth changed it...
12/03/2018

The soldiers from Fort Abercrombie were sent to Fort Wadsworth to help build the fort in 1864. Fort Wadsworth changed it's name to Fort SIsseton, which has been completely restored with many of the original buildings. Photos by L. Krueger give you an idea what a typical fort looked like in 1858 - 1877. Fort Sisseton State Park is a great place to visit and learn about the connections to Fort Abercrombie.

Fort Abercrombie is very thankful for the artist Orabel Thortvedt for painting in 1953 the "First Stagecoach to Fort Abe...
11/26/2018

Fort Abercrombie is very thankful for the artist Orabel Thortvedt for painting in 1953 the "First Stagecoach to Fort Abercrombie in 1859" Orabel did extensive research on Fort Abercrombie with author Roy P. Johnson before completing the painting. The original painting is often displayed at the Clay County Historical Society in Moorhead MN. A copy of the painting can be viewed on the blacksmith sign on the fort grounds. The Sterling sisters getting off the stagecoach in the painting needed a ride to Ft. Gary, which one of the sisters was going to marry a British Officer at Fort Gary. George in the painting builds the Sterling sisters a wooden raft, which he takes them to Fort Gary on the Red River for 22 days. They made it to their destination for the wedding and George dismantled the raft and walked back to Fort Abercrombie. During a tour a Fort Abercrombie visitors learn about the artist and the Sterling sisters in detail. Plan to take the tour next summer and learn more about Orabel and Sterling sisters at Fort Abercrombie. Thank you Orabel for preserving our great history at Fort Abercrombie. (Photos by L. Krueger & Clay County Historical Society Moorhead MN.)

Thank you everyone for a great small business Saturday event at Fort Abercrombie November 24 2018. Perfect weather, grea...
11/25/2018

Thank you everyone for a great small business Saturday event at Fort Abercrombie November 24 2018. Perfect weather, great attendance and lots of shopping and learning about the great history at Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site.

We had a wonderful “Small Business Saturday” today! We want to say thank you to the terrific vendors who shared their time and talents today: Ten Seven Acres, Broken to Pieces Glass Designs, Discovery Express, Family Roots Farm, Marie Paulsen and Wendy Paulsen Cossette of 3 Queens Designs Jewelry, Stacy Haverland, and David Ross Jacobson. Also, we thank our friends at Crooked Lane Farm and Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site who helped promote this event. Finally, we thank the incredible Richland County community for the warm welcome and all the support through our first season. We already treasure our new friendships, and we look forward to next season. See you again in the spring!!
#dakotavineswine #winesatthevines #grateful
❤️🍷❤️

Civil War letters from Kenney Brothers while stationed at Fort Abercrombie.
11/22/2018
From Minnesota to Dakota to the Civil War: The Kenney Family Letters | State Historical Society of North Dakota Blog

Civil War letters from Kenney Brothers while stationed at Fort Abercrombie.

This blog takes you behind the scenes of the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Get a glimpse at a day-in-the-life of the staff, volunteers, and partners who make it all possible. Discover what it takes to preserve North Dakota's natural and cultural history. We encourage dialogue, questions,...

Dakota Vines Vineyard and Winery
11/21/2018

Dakota Vines Vineyard and Winery

We hope you'll join us on Saturday for "Small Business Saturday!" Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site is open from 10:00 - 3:00 for shopping and gallery talks, Crooked Lane Farm is offering wonderful holiday crafting from 10:00 - 4:00, and we're open at Dakota Vines Vineyard and Winery from 10:00 - 5:00 for wine tasting and shopping! (Stay tuned for information about the SEVEN vendors who will be represented in our gallery on Saturday!) We thank you for your support, and hope to see you on Saturday the 24th!
#dakotavineswine #winesatthevines #shoplocal #shopsmall

U.S. Army Center of Military History
11/19/2018

U.S. Army Center of Military History

15 NOVEMBER - U.S. ARMY INDIAN SCOUTS - Native American Heritage Month
From Colonial times through the course of our nation's early history, American Indians served the U.S. Army as auxiliaries and scouts in the capacity of Allies. Others were soldiers. The Mahican soldiers of Stockbridge served in the 8th Massachusetts Regiment and several Oneida leading warriors received commissions in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The Six Nations of Iroquois raised a battalion that performed honorable service as light infantry in the 1814 Battle of Chippewa during the War of 1812. And, the Five Civilized Tribes of Indian Territory raised a Home Brigade of four infantry regiments of U.S. Volunteers during the Civil War. There was a significant change in 1866 when an Act of Congress authorized the President, as commander in chief, to "enlist and employ in the Territories and Indian country a force of Indians not to exceed one thousand to act as scouts, who shall receive the pay and allowances of cavalry soldiers..." The Indian Scouts served faithfully through the period of the Indian Wars on the Great Plains and along the Mexican border, including in the Punitive Expedition of 1916-1917, until they were disbanded at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, in 1947.
DID YOU KNOW
The service of the U.S. Scouts spanned the period from just after the end of the Civil War to just after the end of World War II.
The insignia of the Army's Special Forces is based on that of the Indian Scouts.
The actual Fort Apache was located at the White Mountain Apache Reservation from 1869 until 1924, when the military personnel, including the Apache Scouts, were transferred to Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
Sixteen Indian Scouts were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Plains Indians Wars. #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth #armyhistory
More info:
http://www.history.army.mil/html/topics/natam/natam-pics.html
http://www.history.army.mil/html/topics/natam/

11/18/2018
Tree Study Presentation by Dr. Zelnik - June 3 2018

Dr. Joel Zelnik , "The Tree RIng Guy" has studied trees in our area and presented at the first Fort Abercrombie Sunday History Program
June 3, 2018. Dr. Zelnik studied a chunk of timber of the original site of Fort Abercrombie. The study continues with the prediction that the soldiers brought timber with them to build the orginal fort. They didn't know if any trees existed. The study of the tree sample doesn't match any trees grown in this area, but matches trees grown in eastern Minnesota. Fort Abercrombie closed in 1877 and the buildings were dismantled and sold at a public auction. Many farmsteads in the area contain old structures that contain logs from Fort Abercrombie. Settlers bought piles of logs to build their first structures. Note the slide in this video dating earliest tree ring to 1700 at Lake Maud in Minnesota.

Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site
11/16/2018

Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site

Looking forward to seeing you on small Business Saturday November 24th  from 10 am to 3 pm for our Fort Abercrombie Chri...
11/15/2018

Looking forward to seeing you on small Business Saturday November 24th from 10 am to 3 pm for our Fort Abercrombie Christmas event. Coffee, cookies, gallery talks AND we can help you with your Christmas shopping. We have a wonderful range of books for every one on your list, from the toddler to the discerning history lover and avid book collector. Hope you can pop in and say Hi!

11/12/2018
Period Dress Making 1860's by Nadine Schmidt

Nadine Schmdit is the wife of period tinsmith Karl Schmidt. Nadine has done extensive research into creating period clothing for living history events at Fort Abercrombie and other historical events they attend throughout the region each summer portraying the family of the period tinsmith. Nadine presented at the Fort Abercrombie Sunday History Program June 10 2018.

11/05/2018
5th Minnesota Infantry Co D. Civil War Combat Drill at Fort Abercrombie 2017

5th Minnesota Infantry Co D. . Civil War Combat Drill at Fort Abercrombie 2017. Soldiers at Fort Abercrombie were trained for the Civil War or the Indian Wars. 5th Minnesota Infantry Co. D. was the unit stationed at Fort Abercrombie during the battles and siege of Fort Abercrombie Sept. 3rd & 6th 1862. Many of the soldiers of the 5th Minnesota Co. D. died in the major battles of the Civil War.

Happy birthday, North Dakota!
11/02/2018

Happy birthday, North Dakota!

Happy 129th Birthday, North Dakota!!

On November 2, 1889, a crowd gathered as President Harrison prepared to sign the law granting statehood to the 39th and 40th states. The president did not want to show favor to either state by signing that state’s law first. He shuffled the papers and covered up the names of the states. Then he signed each paper and shuffled them again. Nobody knew which paper he had signed first.

The mystery of which of the two states was admitted first will never be solved. Because “n” comes before “s” in the alphabet, North Dakota is considered to be the 39th state and South Dakota the 40th state. President Harrison was careful to not hurt any feelings as he admitted North Dakota and South Dakota as states in the United States of America.

10/29/2018
Fort Abercrombie Underground Tunnel

Fort Abercrombie had two undergound tunnels. During the siege of Fort Abercrombie in 1862 one tunnel was located within the fort grounds on the banks of the Red RIver. During the six week siege water was hauled with buckets at night for the next day water supply for people and animals. The present day underground tunnel area was dug out in 1864 after a well was dug and the water was bad. The tunnel was dug out to bucket water from the Red RIver.

Thank you Dr. Baggett’s NDSU Civil War History Class for touring Fort Abercrombie today. A special thank you to Carole...
10/28/2018

Thank you Dr. Baggett’s NDSU Civil War History Class for touring Fort Abercrombie today. A special thank you to Carole Butcher for giving a great tour.

10/21/2018
History of Tinware production by Tinsmith Karl Schmidt

Tinsmith Karl Schmidt shares the history and importance of tinware with visitors at Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site each summer. Karl
portrays the craft of tinsmithing as a working tinsmith in Dakota Territory in the 1870's.

10/19/2018
10/14/2018
"Cooking on the Oxcart Trails" Author Jan Smith

Author and storyteller Jan Smith discusses how people traveled across the country on the oxcart trails to Fort Abercrombie. "Cooking On the Oxcart Trails 1858" includes recipes that can be used to make traditional dishes prepared on the oxcart trails.

10/07/2018
Fort Abercrombie Sutler David McCauley 1861 - 1864

"An Interesting Character of Fort Abercrombie, Sutler David McCauley" A sutler is a civilian that has a trading post on a miltary fort. The town of McCauleyville is named after David McCauley. McCauley was very successful as a sutler at the fort, businessman and farmer in the area. David owned a steam powered sawmill that cut the lumber for the building of many of the small towns along the Red River. David McCauley built the first school house, and Catholic Church in McCauleyville. Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site staff member Paul Nelson, recalls David McCauley being involved in the battles at Fort Abercrombie in 1862.

09/30/2018
Fort Abercrombie Changing of the Guard 5th MN Infantry Co. D.

5th Minnesota Infantry Co. D. demonstrates the changing of the guard at Fort Abercrombie. Soldiers stationed at Fort Abercrombie 1858 - 1877 would have to complete 24 hour guard duty on the fort grounds. Soldiers would switch assigned locations every two hours in the summer and every hour in the winter.

Stop and check out the pollinator garden at Aber Park across the street from Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site. Great...
09/29/2018

Stop and check out the pollinator garden at Aber Park across the street from Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site. Great project by local master gardeners.

I stopped to check out the certified master pollinator garden in Abercrombie today. The garden was established this summer by a group of hardworking master gardeners. Although it’s chilly today the flowers are still blooming. All the plants are labeled so it’s a great spot to stop if you want ideas for planting pollinator plants on your own. Chandra

If you share cultural or natural heritage with the public, this training may be of interest to you . . .
09/24/2018
State Historical Society of North Dakota

If you share cultural or natural heritage with the public, this training may be of interest to you . . .

Training State Historic Site Staff (and You!) as Certified Interpretive Guides

I’ve been leading (and loving) Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) trainings for about six years now. When I started as a historic site manager this spring, I was thrilled to be asked to lead them for the State Historical Society as well. CIG, a four-day course designed by the National Association for Interpretation (NAI), is an enriching opportunity to learn, share, and develop ideas with other heritage interpreters.

What do I mean by heritage interpreters? You may also know them as docents, tour guides, rangers, or public historians. They’re the people who translate technical knowledge into inspiring informal education for kids, tourists, or your family from out of town. You might encounter an interpreter at a museum, local or national park, botanic garden, zoo, aquarium, online, or, of course, at a historic site.

Read the full blog article at http://bit.ly/2xJlJ6g.

09/23/2018
Fort Abercrombie Blacksmith 1858 - 1862

Allan and Michael Quade demonstrate the craft of blacksmithing at Fort Abercrombie each summer. The blacksmith played an important role at Fort Abercrombie 1858 -1877.

What are you doing next weekend? How about traveling back in time! Company D of the 5th Minnesota Volunteers will be at ...
09/16/2018

What are you doing next weekend? How about traveling back in time! Company D of the 5th Minnesota Volunteers will be at Probstfield Farm on Saturday, Sept. 22. The Farm is located at 4626 Oakport St N, Moorhead, MN. This is a great opportunity to observe musket and artillery drills and meet the soldiers who defended Fort Abercrombie in 1862.

Fort Abercrombie blockhouses are replicas completed by the WPA project under President Franklin Roosevelt in 1939. Local...
09/09/2018

Fort Abercrombie blockhouses are replicas completed by the WPA project under President Franklin Roosevelt in 1939. Local families donated the lumber to build the blockhouses and the Schneider family sawed the logs in the their sawmill along the Red River. The purpose of the blockhouses functioned as a look out post and used to train soldiers to practice rapid reload after each shot. Three blockhouses existed until the Red River bank erosion, after flood of 1997 forced the moving of blockhouse in northeast to a safe location. Photos by Lenny Krueger 2011 -2018.

Address

935 Broadway N
Abercrombie, ND
58001

General information

Known historically as "the Gateway to the Dakotas," Fort Abercrombie was the first permanent United States military fort established in what was to become North Dakota. It was also the only post in the area to be besieged by Dakota (Sioux) warriors for more than six weeks during the Dakota conflict of 1862. During the Dakota Conflict, Minnesota Volunteer soldiers manned the fort when area settlers sought shelter there. The "regular" U.S. Army soldiers had been withdrawn during the Civil War and had been replaced by the Minnesota Voluteer Infantry. The fort was not protected by blockhouses or a palisade during the seige, but these defensive structures were constructed soon afterward. The fort guarded the oxcart trails of the later fur trade era, military supply wagon trains, stagecoach routes, and steamboat traffic on the Red River. It also was a supply base for two major gold-seeking expeditions across Dakota into Montana. Fort Abercrombie served as a hub for several major transportation routes through the northern plains. After the fort was abandoned in 1877, fort buildings were sold and removed from the site. A Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in 1939-1940 reconstructed three blockhouses and the stockade and returned the original military guardhouse to the site. Beginning in the summer of 2001, a project to refurbish major portions of the WPA project and to reinterpret the site was initiated.

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