Another day in Bismark - another fort to see!
There is no way we can fit in all the historical sites to see in this area - but we tried to hit the ones that tied to other sites we'd see on our trip. So today it was off to Fort Abraham Lincoln and the On-A-Slat Indian Village.
Our first stop was a tour of Custer's house. It was interesting to learn about Custer and his wife, and their life on the frontier. This was the fort that Custer was stationed out of before he headed out to The Little Bighorn and the infamous "Custer's Last Stand."
In the same state park, we also got to visit the On-A-Slant Indian Village. This was the original site of the Mandan people. At one time there were about 1500 people in this village. When Lewis and Clark came through this area, they noted the 'abandoned village on a nearby hillside.' This was it!
This enormous village was sadly hit hard by the smallpox epidemic. It was left small and weak. Then, unfortunately, it was no longer a stronghold for the Mandan people and was attacked by the Sioux. The remaining Mandan left and sought refuge further upriver - at the Knife River (where we went yesterday!). So if you think backwards - this was the village that Sacegewea's "adopted family" lived in (probably the grandparents of that family).
This is the model of what the original village would've looked like.
Then a trip out to the restored lands....
And the inside of the earthen lodges....
Megan studied up on all the ways they used the bison they hunted.... cause they used every single part!
Nicole, however, was all about learning to read their pictures.
Our travels around the park took us to the top of the hills to the watch towers - The fort was originally called Fort McKeen. It was here about 200 years after the Mandan people had abandoned their village.
There was an amazing view from the top of the towers!
Afterwards, we toured some of the enlisted men's barracks.
This park held a fun bond in that it was built up by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) - which Tom's grandfather was a part of. He didn't help with the parks in this area - but it's still a fun connection to family history.