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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Havre in Hill County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Root Cellar

Fort Assinniboine

 
 
Root Cellar Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2019
1. Root Cellar Marker
Inscription.  Before refrigeration, rural Americans preserved perishables in root cellars. The fortís first root cellar, a 100-by-20- foot structure, was built in 1879-80. In 1902 the government invested $3,900 (about $237,000 in 2011 dollars) to replace the original root cellar with three identical structures at the southeast end of the parade ground. Only the southernmost wood, cement, and sod building remains intact. Built into the hillside, the 25-by-75-foot structure has walls 18-by-24-inch thick. To take advantage of dirtís insulating qualities, only the entry is aboveground and the center sectionís arched top is covered with sod. Three small wood-framed ventilation shafts circulate enough air to keep produce fresh. Hinged double-entry doors open onto a small vestibule, further protecting the main storage area from temperature extremes. The cellar stored the fortís garden bounty as well as purchased provisions. Each infantry and cavalry company had its own gardeners. In large irrigated fields bordering Beaver Creek, they grew thirty different crops. Troop-grown potatoes, turnips, corn, onions, carrots, squash, apples, garlic, and rutabagas all wintered
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well in the root cellars, improving the health and quality of meals at the fort.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society; Department of the Interior, National Register of Historic Places.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureForts and Castles. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1902.
 
Location. 48° 29.88′ N, 109° 47.646′ 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. Company Officer's Quarters (Duplexes) (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Company Officers' Quarters (Apartments) (about 500 feet away); Library (about 600 feet away); The Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Assinniboine (about 600 feet away); Fort Assiniboine (about 600 feet away); Fort Assinniboine (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Assinniboine (about 600 feet away); John A. Burns (about 600 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.
 
Root Cellar and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2019
2. Root Cellar and Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 20, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 119 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 20, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Dec. 11, 2023