Fort Abercrombie (1)

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Fort Abercrombie (1) (1857-1877) - Established on 28 Aug 1858 by Lt. Colonel John J. Abercrombie of the 2nd U.S. Infantry after whom the fort is named. Initially designed to protect settlers in the Red River Valley from Sioux Indians, Fort Abercrombie later served as a hub for several major transportation routes through the northern plains. Abandoned in 1877.

Fort Abercrombie Original Guardhouse
Fort Abercrombie Cannon Bastion
Fort Abercrombie Replica Blockhouse


Fort Abercrombie Plan, 1871

The original fort was built within a flood plain and was evacuated on 25 Jul 1859, reoccupied in Jul 1860 and rebuilt on a high west bank of the Red River. Regular troops were withdrawn during the U.S. Civil War and the post was garrisoned with Minnesota Volunteer Infantry.

Fort Abercrombie was besieged for more than six weeks during the Sioux War of 1862 and it was after the siege that the blockhouses and the palisade were built. The post served as a hub for several major transportation routes through the northern plains until it was abandoned in 1877. The fort buildings were sold and removed from the site.

A Federal 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 by the state's historical society.

Current Status

Fort Abercrombie On Site Marker
Fort Abercrombie Visitor Center

Part of the Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site operated by the State Historical Society of North Dakota. The fort site includes two replica blockhouses (a third one was taken down because of river erosion), a restored original guardhouse building, and a partial replica stockade. Other missing post buildings sites are outlined with in-ground posts at the angles and filled with uncut prairie grass. Abundant interpretive panels are adjacent to the building sites and in the blockhouses. Excellent Visitor Center/Museum.

Location: 612 East Blvd Ave, Bismarck, Richland County, ND 58505-0830

Maps & Images

Lat: 46.44513 Long: -96.71823

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 925'



Visited: 11 Sep 2013

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