Fort Totten State Historic Site

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Fort Totten
Fort Totten barracks.jpg
Barracks at Fort Totten
Fort Totten State Historic Site is located in North Dakota
Fort Totten State Historic Site
Location South of Fort Totten off ND 57
Nearest city Fort Totten, North Dakota
Coordinates 47°58′39″N 98°59′35″W / 47.97750°N 98.99306°W / 47.97750; -98.99306Coordinates: 47°58′39″N 98°59′35″W / 47.97750°N 98.99306°W / 47.97750; -98.99306
Area less than one acre
Built 1868
Governing body State Historical Society of North Dakota
NRHP Reference # 71000629[1]
Added to NRHP December 09, 1971

Fort Totten State Historic Site is a historic site in Fort Totten, North Dakota.

Fort Totten trail, by Henry Farny


Established on July 17, 1867,[2] 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 boarder 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.


Fort Totten has often been called "the best preserved military fort of the Dakota Frontier-era."[citation needed] Today you can visit the 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.

Further reading[edit]

  • Barnes, Jeff. Forts of the Northern Plains: Guide to Historic Military Posts of the Plains Indian Wars. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2008.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ Robert W. Frazer: Forts of the West, Military Forts and Presidios and Posts Commonly Called Forts West of the Mississippi River to 1898, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Okla., 1965, p. 115.

External links[edit]

HABS—Historic American Buildings Survey of Fort Totten