Fort Stevenson Guardhouse Interpretive Center
Fort Stevenson got its name from a 19th Century frontier military fort. Like the replica, the fort was named in honor of Brigadier General Thomas Greeley Stevenson, a union officer whom was killed during the battle of Spotsylvania (VA). In 1867 the original Fort Stevenson was established about two miles southwest of the present site on the north bank of the Missouri River between Douglas and Garrison Creeks.
After being established in July of 1867, Fort Stevenson consisted of ten rough buildings that were constructed from materials mainly from the land. The Fort was established to be part of a chain of forts built to guard the emigrant route from Minnesota to the gold mines of Montana and Idaho. It also had a purpose of providing military protection from the Sioux for the peaceful Mandan, Arikara, and Hidatsa tribes at Fort Berthold. The Fort held other functions including a mail route and a supply base for Fort Totten, which became the main primary function. During its time as a military fort, Fort Stevenson was never directly attacked with the greatest danger being the fierce winters of the Northern Plains which included 40 below temperatures recorded. Phillippe Regis de Trobriand commanded the fort from 1867 until 1870, which has recorded information in journals on the fort.
On August 31, 1883 Fort Stevenson had become officially abandoned after the Sioux surrendered and the fort’s buildings were turned over to the Bureau of Indian Affairs which became used for the Fort Berthold Indian School until 1894. Following the closing of the school, Fort Stevenson was sold at a public auction.
Today a replica stands as an Interpretive Center which holds artifacts and the history of Fort Stevenson and the Missouri River. The Fort Stevenson Guardhouse has become an attraction for all ages, bringing in school groups and others to learn the story that the park holds.