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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Havre in Hill County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Guardhouse

Fort Assinniboine

 
 
Guardhouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2019
1. Guardhouse Marker
Inscription.  With its graceful dormer and full-length front porch supported by Tuscan columns, the front of this one-story, hipped-roof building looks like an attractive and comfortable residence. The back of the building, with its small, arched barred windows and nineteen-inch-thick exterior walls, reveals its true purpose: to house the fort’s prisoners. Completed in 1905 by contractors Frank Coombs and Duncan Brothers of Great Falls for $23,555, this well-detailed, state-of-the-art building replaced a smaller guard house. Its large cellblock could hold up to fifty prisoners, usually serving thirty-day sentences for such crimes as drunken behavior, insubordination, and going AWOL (absent without leave). During the day, the prisoners worked outside in chain gangs. At night they slept on the floor: the guardhouse did not provide beds or mattresses, but prisoners were permitted to bring blankets. When the fort closed, the Army donated the guardhouse to Havre for a jail. Distance made transporting the building impractical, but the city did recycle the cell bars, only to return them years later after construction of Havre’s current correctional facility.
 
Erected by
Guardhouse and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2019
2. Guardhouse and Marker
The marker is to the right of the stairs.
Montana Historical Society; Department of the Interior, National Register of Historic Places.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program marker series.
 
Location. 48° 29.91′ N, 109° 47.866′ W. Marker is near Havre, Montana, in Hill County. Marker is on Fort Circle near 82nd Avenue West (Assinniboine Road). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Havre MT 59501, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Post Exchange (within shouting distance of this marker); Officers' Amusement Hall (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Assinniboine (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Assinniboine (about 300 feet away); John A. Burns (about 300 feet away); The Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Assinniboine (about 300 feet away); Fort Assiniboine (about 300 feet away); Library (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Havre.
 
More about this marker. This marker on the grounds of Fort Assinniboine.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesLaw Enforcement
 
Guardhouse image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2019
3. Guardhouse
The cells are in the basement. image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2019
4. The cells are in the basement.
 

More. Search the internet for Guardhouse.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 19, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 19, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 43 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 19, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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