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Fort Mandan, Washburn

4.3
#7 of 16 in Historic Sites in North Dakota
Historic Site Tourist Spot
Fort Mandan was the name of the encampment which the Lewis and Clark Expedition built for wintering over in 1804-1805. The encampment was located on the Missouri River approximately twelve miles from the site of present-day Washburn, North Dakota, which developed later. The precise location is not known for certain and is believed now to be under water of the river. A replica of the fort has been constructed near the original site.Construction and conditionsThe fort was built of cottonwood lumber cut from the riverbanks. It was triangular in shape, with high walls on all sides, an interior open space between structures, and a gate facing the Missouri River, by which the party would normally travel. Storage rooms provided a safe place to keep supplies. Lewis and Clark shared a room. The men of the Corps of Discovery started the fort on November 2, 1804. They wintered there until April 7, 1805. According to the journals, they built the fort slightly downriver from the five villages of the Mandan and Hidatsa nations.The winter was very cold, with temperatures sometimes dipping to minus 45 degrees Fahrenheit (-43°C), but the fort provided some protection from the elements. Several of the men of the expedition suffered frostbite due to the severely cold conditions, which affected them even with brief exposure.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
69 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • Reconstructed is never the same as the original but the encouragement to touch and feel offsets that somewhat. They don't know where the original fort was but this was such an important step in the Le...  more »
  • Fort Mandan is the location of the winter camp of Lewis and Clark and their group of explorers. Our tour guide was excellent and gave us a thorough understanding of life in the fort. It is a great rep...  more »
  • Our family had a great tour of the recreated fort. Tour lasted about 45 minutes. My son who is 4 asked if he could do the whole tour over again at the end! Our tour guide really kept the kids engaged....  more »
Google
  • My husband and I had the most wonderful experience at this Fort. The Ranger, Juan, was so knowledgeable and really created a picture of how The people lived and how they were able to create the things they needed. He really knew his history and he was so good at sharing his knowledge.. we are following the Lewis and Clark Trail starting in St. Louis and we will be following it to the coast. This visit to the Fort has really brought all the people involved to life for both me and my husband Pete.
  • 45 minutes guided tour by knowledgeable ranger, short walk to replica fort, cool spot even in summer heat!
  • Very cool recreation. Nice museum on site too.
  • i hated it i don't know why people even like this trashy place!
  • I like cute boys

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