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Near Garrison in McLean County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Land of Strange Disappearances

 
 
Land of Strange Disappearances Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, March 1, 2020
1. Land of Strange Disappearances Marker
Inscription.  People have lived in the area now called North Dakota for over 12,000 years. The people of prehistoric times were nomadic hunters and gatherers.
More recent Native American tribes of this area include the Mandan, Arikara and Hidatsa. These Plains Village people lived in earthlodges in permanent villages. Many of these villages were located along the Missouri River. They raised crops such as com, beans, squash, sunflowers and tobacco. A trade network was in operation extending as far as the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. They also hunted big game, especially the buffalo.
With the arrival of European people in the 1700's the culture of the Native Americans changed. The intro- duction of European diseases, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and the steady encroachment of settlers made it impossible for these Native American peoples to retain their traditional way of life.
A visit to the Knife River Village Historic Site near Stanton, ND (#21 on the map) provides a more detailed look at the Plains Village culture.

Lewis and Clark
Meriwether Lewis and Capt. William Clark set out to explore the newly

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purchased Louisiana Territory on May 14, 1804. They were to record the course of the Missouri River to its headwaters and look for a direct water route across the continent.
The party consisted of 44 unmarried young men who were in Capt. Lewis' words "capable of bearing bodily fatigue in a pretty considerable degree."
In late October of 1804 the expedition reached the Knife River Indian villages and built Ft. Mandan as their winter camp. It was there that Lewis and Clark hired Toussaint Charbonneau and his young Shoshoni wife, Sakakawea.

Fort Stevenson
Fort Stevenson was a two company military post named for Union General Thomas G. Stevenson. Construction of the fort began in 1867. It was built at the mouth of Garrison Creek.
The fort served four main purposes: to protect the Three Tribes at Fort Berthold; to serve as a link in the chain of military forts from South Dakota to Montana; as a point in the proposed emigrant route from Minnesota to the gold mines; and as a base of supplies for Fort Totten.
Fort Stevenson was built for a maximum of 238 men. No major attacks were ever made on Fort Stevenson and by 1894 Fort Stevenson was dissolved.
The site of the fort has been inundated by the waters of Lake Sakakawea.

Totten Trail
The Totten Trail was a wagon trail connecting Fort Stevenson, located at the mouth

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of Garrison Creek, and Fort Totten, a military post on Devils Lake. Both forts were built in 1867 and the 125 mile trail between them was in constant use until 1872
The trail served as a mail and a suppiy route. A portion of the trail near the Dog Den Range became known as the land of strange disappearances” when severalmail carying derties were attaoked and killed.
The trail's importance diminished after 1872 as the railroads provided cheernd faster routes for mail.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationForts or CastlesNative AmericansRailroads & Streetcars.
 
Location. 47° 38.758′ N, 101° 17.779′ W. Marker is near Garrison, North Dakota, in McLean County. Marker is on North Dakota Route 37 near U.S. 83, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Garrison ND 58540, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Custer Coal Mine (here, next to this marker); Wildlife Area Evolves From Coal Mine (here, next to this marker).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 10, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on January 10, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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Jan. 22, 2021