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

Near Stanton in Mercer County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Missouri Valley Environs

Fort Clark State Historic Site

 
 
Missouri Valley Environs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 28, 2020
1. Missouri Valley Environs Marker
Caption: (lower right) Karl Bodmer's pencil sketch and watercolor of the village set on a high terrace.
Inscription.  Fort Clark and its opposition post Primeau's Post, as well as that of the nearby Mandan and later Arikara village, were for defense and also served to tap the bountiful natural resources of this stretch of the Missouri River valley. Between 1832 and 1862, a host of visitors to Fort Clark had commented on it.

The artist George Catlin during a visit in the summer of 1832 had penned the following in one of his letters.:
The ground on which the Mandan village is at present built, was admirably selected for defense; being on a bank forty or fifty feet above the bed of the river.

A year later, upon their party's arrival, Prince Maximilian wrote on June 18. 1833:
Immediately behind the fort there were, in the prairies, seventy leather tents of the Crows, which we immediately visited.... The view of the prairie around Fort Clark was at this time highly interesting.

The journal of naturalist John James Audubon mentions his visit to Fort Clark on June 7, 1843:
The site of this fort apears a good one, though it is placed considerably below the Mandan Village. We saw some small spots
Missouri Valley Environs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 28, 2020
2. Missouri Valley Environs Marker
cultivated, where corn, pumpkins, and beans are grown. The fort and village are situated on a high bank, rising somewhat to the elevation of a hill.


Almost two decades later, the pioneer ethnologist Lewis Henry Morgan put ashore at Fort Clark on June 4, 1862, following its abandonment, and recounted in his journal:
The ruins of the village are quite interesting. Here for the first time I have seen the dirt houses of the Upper Missouri, and they far surpass my expectations.
 
Erected by State Historical Society of North Dakota.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesNatural Features.
 
Location. 47° 15.111′ N, 101° 16.356′ W. Marker is near Stanton, North Dakota, in Mercer County. Marker can be reached from 37th Avenue Southwest near 12th Street Southwest (State Highway 200), on the right when traveling north. The marker is located at the Fort Clark State Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Stanton ND 58571, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Winter Villages and Lodges (a few steps from this marker); Stone Shelter (a few steps from this marker); The People (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Clark (circa 1830-1860) (within shouting
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distance of this marker); Corrals (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pierre Garreau's Lodge (about 300 feet away); Earthlodges (about 500 feet away); The Blockhouses (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stanton.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 12, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 26 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 12, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 2, 2021