Fort Totten State Historic Site, Fort Totten

Must see · Military Museum · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
Fort Totten State Historic Site is a historic site in Fort Totten, North Dakota.
Established on July 17, 1867, the fort was first built to watch over the surrounding Indian Reservation after a group of the Dakota tribe moved to the area after 1867. The soldiers were stationed to enforce the peace and guard transportation routes. The Fort was also the gathering point for an expedition to survey the border between the United States and British Canada in the 1870s. The fort was decommissioned in 1890. It was then turned over to the Bureau of Indian Affairs where until 1959 it was used as a Native American boarding school. Fort Totten became a North Dakota State Historic Site in 1960 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
It was named for United States Army Corps of Engineers head Joseph Gilbert Totten, who also has forts named for him in Washington, DC and New York.
Visitors can access an interpretive center, take a walking tour of 16 original buildings, visit the Pioneer Daughter's Museum, take in a show at the Fort Totten Little Theatre, and stay at the Totten Trail Historic Inn bed and breakfast. School children often attend the "Fort Totten Living History Field Day" in September.
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Fort Totten State Historic Site reviews

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14 reviews
  • We were driving past and decided to stop as it was raining and the fishing was a bit slow. Fort Totten did not disappoint! The buildings are well maintained and there is something educational in...  more »
  • Preserved military post with many buildings open to view. A boardwalk around the parade grounds leads to the buildings that were used by the military & then changed to a boarding school for Dakota...  more »
  • This fort has a lot of its original buildings. There are several available to walk through. Additionally they have many items that were used at the fort on display. They discuss the time it was used as a military fort in the late 1800's to when it was used as a school for Native Americans and a place to care for those with TB. They also have a bed and breakfast where people can stay!
  • Surprised to find such an expansive property preserved as an historical site. The condition of preservation efforts though, was reflective of the ongoing disparity of funding to native peoples. Many of the other historical sites we visited in ND were obviously better capitalized and preserved.

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