Fort Abercrombie State Historical Site
Fort Abercrombie was established on August 28, 1858, on the Red River in
Dakota Territory by Lieutenant Colonel John J. Abercrombie. Because
of the threat of flooding, the fort was moved to its present location on the
eastern edge of present-day Abercrombie, Richland County, in 1859. It was
the first permanent United States military fort established in what was to
become North Dakota and was also the only post in the area besieged by Sioux
warriors for more than six weeks during the Dakota Conflict of 1862.
During the Dakota Conflict, volunteer troops manned the fort when area
settlers sought shelter there. The "regular" army troops had been
withdrawn during the Civil War and had been replaced by the Minnesota Volunteer
Infantry. The fort was not protected by a palisade during the siege, but
one was constructed soon afterward.
The fort served to guard wagon trains and steamboat traffic on the Red River
and was also a supply base for wagon trains headed to the Montana border.
It was at the crossroads of several major transportation routes throughout the
northern plains until its abandonment in 1877.
Currently, County Road #44 runs through the center of the forth-two acre site
before crossing the Red River into Minnesota. Fort Abercrombie State
Historic Site is divided into two parts: the first includes recreational
facilities and a local museum, and the second is the actual historic site.
A reconstructed stockade, three reconstructed block-houses, and one original
fort guard-house stand on the site. A cast aluminum marker mounted on a
fieldstone monument is located on the east side of the parking lot in the center
of grounds. This parking lot is accessible from the county road. Visitors can rent audiotapes at the museum for a walking tour of the fort
May 16 to September 16 from 8 am to 5 pm
Abercrombie State Historic Site is free and
open year round. The
museum is open
There is an admission charge for the museum.
Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site
PO Box 148, Abercrombie, ND 58001
Phone (701) 553-8513.