“It goes way back to 1878. Prior to that, four years prior to that, the Black Hills expedition led by Custer had come through this area and made a recommendation that if a future fort was needed, this would be an excellent location. However, that was four years before the fort was established and so then they went back to Fort Abraham Lincoln, which was up near Bismarck, Mandan area. Then in 1876, during the Black Hills expedition, and that’s when the Battle of the Little Bighorn occurred. So the Seventh Cavalry troops following the battle, Little Bighorn that survived, that were with Custer up there, went back to Fort Abraham Lincoln in 1878 when gold had been discovered in the Black Hills. And so the rush was on. Other settlers who came to the area felt that there was going to be a need for some type of military presence here. So the Seventh Cavalry then came down here and established the fort in 1878.”
Kussler explains that the building was used as the headquarters and now serves as the museum headquarters.
“We’re here to tell the story of that 66 years that the post was active. And so we have several displays throughout the building. Some very unique items we’ve got set up the best we can in chronological order. It goes through a lot of different events that did occur here at the Fort. It kind of gives a really good feeling about the story. We do have a map, to drive around and learn a little bit about each building on here. And so if you’re out there sometimes and watch it, I just kind of get the feeling that you kind of part of the history of it.
The museum is open from May 16 through September 30. They are open Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm. There is an admission fee of $5 for adults and $4 for veterans. There is also youth pricing.
For more information, visit their website here.