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Press Release - Fort Buford Hosts Special Weekend of Public Events

Contact: August 3, 2012
Steve Reidburn

Fort Buford Hosts Special Weekend of Public Events

WILLISTON – Fort Buford comes to life on Saturday, August 18, 2012, with living history and historical presentations. The Fort Buford site, located 22 miles southwest of Williston, is managed and maintained by the state’s history agency, the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Programs will be featured throughout the day. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Fort Buford Sixth Infantry Regiment Association of Williston will provide demonstrations on marching, a cannon drill, and history on the life of a frontier soldier in the late 1800s. Ann Marks of Jamestown will provide Dutch oven cooking demonstrations in the campground throughout the day. No food will be served to the public from these demonstrations.

At 3 p.m., Dale Marks of Jamestown, a member of the Twentieth Infantry, will present a program on small arms of the Civil War and the Indian Wars. Arch Ellwein will provide History Alive! Presentations portraying Vic Smith, champion buffalo hunter, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18 and Sunday, Aug. 19, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Ellwein is an advertising consultant and Williston-Sidney area actor and children's theater director. At the nearby Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center, the Confluence Quilter will meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a brown bag lunch.

On Sunday, Aug. 19, Bill Lowman, cowboy poet, will provide a presentation at 3 p.m. CDT at the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center. Lowman’s pencil drawings are on display at the center throughout the month of August.

Fort Buford was established as a military post in 1866 to guard the trails west and serve as a major supply depot, functioning until 1895. When the fort was decommissioned in 1895, it included more than 100 buildings and structures. Today, in addition to the Field Officer’s Quarters where Sitting Bull surrendered in 1881, only two other original buildings remain–the Officer-of-the-Day Building and the stone powder magazine. A nearby fort cemetery also still exists.

For more information, call the Fort Buford State Historic Site at (701) 572-9034. For a calendar of programs at state historic sites, contact the State Historical Society of North Dakota at (701) 328-1476 or visit

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