Fort Buford has two earlier magazines. This 1875 building replaced a partially underground magazine which had stone-lined walls and an earth roof. Poor ventilation and moisture made the structure unfit for ammunition storage.
Special design considerations were given to a building intended to house ammunition. Ventilation was important, ammunition had to be kept dry to fire properly. Because fire and explosions were a concern, all nails and the wood floor were counter sunk to prevent sparks. Soldiers had to remove their boot or wear felt boot covers to prevent the hobnails on the soles from sparking, and munitions crates had all screws and nails countersunk and the holes filled with putty. The door was metal and the walls were thick so that if an explosion occurred the force of the blast would take the path of least resistance, upwards through the roof instead of outwards. The powder magazine was also well built as protection against theft of its contents.
Because lanterns were not permitted in this building,
Not all the fort's ammunition was stood in the powder magazine. Some of the weapons and ammunition were kept in the barracks with the men. The Quartermaster's storehouse contained some of the ordnance such as crates of firearms. Cannon munitions were stored in separate buildings.
The quantity of ordnance inventoried at Fort Buford in July 1877 suggests that this frontier post was busy with military activities of the time:
Rifle = 590,993 rounds
Carbine = 129,513 rounds
Pistol = 15,081 rounds
Cannon = 1,942 rounds
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Forts and Castles.
Location. 47° 59.321′ N, 104° 0.091′ W. Marker is near Williston, North Dakota, in Williams County. Marker can be reached from 39th Lane NW, half a mile west of 153rd Avenue Northwest, on the right when traveling north. Located on the grounds of Fort Buford State Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 15349 39th Ln NW, Williston ND 58801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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Credits. This page was last revised on March 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 2, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 188 times since then and 2 times this year. Last updated on March 9, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 2, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Mid-distance view of the Fort Buford Powder House and Marker. • Can you help?