After visiting the Capitol in Bismark we decided to spend the next few days at Fort Abraham State Park. It cost $25 a day for water and electric. The State Park had at several ties to the history of the area. First it had been the site of a Mandan village. How people lived in these mound houses is something Marcus was very interested in. Caroline wrote down the symbols they used as writing in her note book. We explored the visitor center and learned how they used various natural objects as tools.
A century later, the military established an infantry post on a bluff above the On-A-Slant ruins. In preparation for the Northern Pacific Railroad to lay its track to the Missouri River and beyond, the military was dispatched to the area. Later a cavalry division was added. Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer was the first commander of the enlarged fort and served here from 1873 until the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. We toured the infantry and cavalry posts and learned about what life would have been like.
The land itself was deeded to the state in 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Park development started in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), who built the visitor center, earthlodges, blockhouses, shelters and roads, and placed cornerstones to mark buildings at the infantry and cavalry posts.