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Fort Buford State Historic Site

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1866 established. 15349 39th Ln. NW, 10 miles southwest of Trenton
  • Ghosted barracks (Photograph by Steve C. Martens)

Established in 1866 near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers, Fort Buford consisted of log and adobe quarters enclosed within a rough stockade of cottonwood logs. Materials for the post were obtained from the abandoned fur trading post at nearby Fort Union (WI7). Fort Buford was one of a chain of military posts extending from Fort Leavenworth to the Columbia River. Initially, it was designed to police the fur traders who had been illegally trading ammunition and whiskey to hostile Native Americans in the area. It also served as the point of distribution for government annuities to the various Native American tribes living in the vicinity. Fort Buford was an active military post during the U.S.-Dakota Wars of the late 1860s and 1870s. After the post was abandoned in 1895, most of the buildings were sold at public auction. The only surviving structures are the powder magazine and the officers’ quarters, now a museum. The “ghosted” barracks structure is of architectural interest, constructed of steel tubing under the directive of the State Historical Society.

Writing Credits

Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay


What's Nearby


Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "Fort Buford State Historic Site", [Williston, North Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of North Dakota

Buildings of North Dakota, Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 150-151.

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