Delve into North Dakota History

Learn about North Dakota's legendary past through forts and state historic sites.

North Dakota is a wealth of history and culture. Experience centuries of history that have been carefully restored and preserved at museums, forts and heritage sites across the state.

Historic Sites

Explore North Dakota's legendary past at two free state museums, the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum in Bismarck and the Pembina State Museum in Pembina. There are also 57 historic sites managed by the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

North Dakota's Historic Forts

Experience North Dakota's legendary military history through a visit to a fort or state historic site. Forts were established to provide protection and central meeting places as settlers pushed west. The State Historical Society of North Dakota operates most historic forts in the state.

Fort Abercrombie - Abercrombie: The first military post in North Dakota. An interpretive center is open May 16-September 15.

Fort Abraham Lincoln - Mandan: Guided tours of General Custer's reconstructed home, central barracks, commissary and stable.

Fort Buford - Williston: Exhibits in original buildings and reconstructed barracks. Sitting Bull surrendered here in 1881.

Fort Clark - Washburn: An important American Indian archaeological site

Fort Dilts - Rhame: Site of a besieged wagon train party in 1864

Fort Mandan - Wasburn: Home to the Lewis & Clark Expedition during the winter of 1804-1805

Fort Ransom - Fort Ransom: Active military post from 1867-1872 

Fort Rice - Fort Rice: Military post established in 1864

Fort Totten - Fort Totten: First a military post and then a boarding school

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