Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 5 – Mandan, ND

Fort Abraham Lincoln tells the story of several periods of history. The On A Slant Indian Village is an  abandoned Mandan village that has been partially recreated.  Earthlodges were built on the bluff overlooking the river and gardens of corn, beans and squash were planted along the river banks by the women of the tribe.  The men were hunters and defended against other tribes.

The earthlodges were round and constructed of wood and clay. Extended families of 10-15 would live in each. There were as many as 85 earthlodges in the village. They had extensive trading networks.  By 1804 when Lewis and Clark passed this way the Mandan had moved farther up the Missouri to Knife River Village.

A military post was built at this location in1872 to protect workers on the Northern Pacific Railroad.  Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer and his wife Libbie lived at Fort Abraham Lincoln from 1873 until his death at the Little Big Horn in 1876. 

Today his house and seven other fort buildings have been rebuilt.  Costumed interpreters take you back to the times of the Custers.

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