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Fort Abercrombie - History

Fort Abercrombie from Red River, 1869

Abercrombie would be eventually be tied to the outside world via the railroad. In 1870, supply route ended at the railhead in St. Cloud, and thence by wagons. A tri-weekly stage from St. Cloud kept the fort connected, although by a three day trip. By 1875, supplies and communication with headquarters in Saint Paul were via the Saint Paul and Pacific Railroad to Breckenridge, a distance of 217 miles, thence ambulance or stage to the fort, 13 miles.

As Abercrombie was no longer needed from a military standpoint, the military reservation was abandoned and opened up to settlers, who had already begun locating on the reservation in Minnesota before 1876. The legislature of Minnesota requested that the portion of the reservation in Minnesota,

Congress to vacate that portion of the military reservation at Fort Abercrombie which lies on the east side of Red River, in the State of Minnesota, and to open the same to settlement and occupation under the homestead and pre-emption laws. Military Reservation at Fort Abercrombie, Dakota Territory, 44th Congress, 1st Session, House of Representatives, Miscellaneous Document No. 137, (Washington, DC: General Printing Office, 1876).

Hours:
Site is open year-round.
Interpretive Center is open May 16 - September 15,
9am - 5pm, Thursday - Monday.

Contact Us:
(701) 549-2775
shspreservation@nd.gov
P.O. Box 148
Abercrombie, ND 58001