Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Abraham Lincoln State Park, North Dakota

Located within the state park is the reconstructed army post that became the largest on the northern plains with the arrival of the 7th Calvary and Lt Col George Armstrong Custer as the new fort commander in 1873. This would be the last place he would live with his wife until 1876 when the Seventh Calvary was sent to the Little Big Horn. 

We had a guided tour of the home with history of how the Custer’s lived on the fort.  There were several other buildings that could also be toured.  The house was quite comfortable for the era and conditions at that time on the plains.   Although many complained about the poor quality of materials at the time with concerns about the warped wood causing drafts in all the buildings.

The fort covered a large area with great views of the surrounding territory.  I nearly stepped on a local resident that apparently had expired very near a walking path from the cold and wind. I can only imagine how uncomfortable the troops must have been during the winter months in ND barracks on the open plains.

Also within the park is a Mandan village reproduction that existed on this site from the mid 1500’s until the late 1700’s with approximately 1000 residents.  The Mandan people would become important to the Lewis and Clark expedition in the early 1800’s. The Mandan people were not the wandering hunter/gatherers typical of the period.  They built permanent villages, farmed, traded, and generally lived a settled existence in one place. We learned a great deal about these people during our tour.

Monday, September 04, 2017

South Dakota State Capitol

A must see in Pierre is the state capitol.  There was an over 10 year struggle to determine where the state capitol would be. Finally, in 1904, Pierre was selected.  The construction of the neoclassical building was started in 1905 and completed in 1910.  The building reflects the history  of the state and is a historical landmark in its own right.

The design selected was the same as the one for the Montana capitol with some variations.  The project was completed for under one million dollars.  We enjoyed a guided tour of the building with current and historical background.  More details can be found here.
A restoration was completed in 1989 which  included  returning it to the original colors and appearance.

On the grounds is a memorial park that is enjoyed by visitors and residents alike.  It is very well done and a pleasure to stroll around.