Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Fort Clark in Mercer County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Fort Clark Historic Site

 
 
Fort Clark Historic Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cindy Bullard, June 21, 2010
1. Fort Clark Historic Site Marker
Inscription. On this site are the remains of a large earthlodge village originally settled by the Mandan Indians (ca.1822) and the trading forts Clark and Primeau. Previous to the establishment of Fort Clark, an unnamed post was built in the area by James Kipp and a Mr.Tilton for the Columbia Fur Company (ca. 1822-1823), but this post was abandoned shortly thereafter as a result of pressures by Arikara.

Tilton returned to St. Louis, but Kipp remained at the Mandan village and built Fort Clark in 1831 for the American Fur Company. Fort Clark, named for Captain William Clark, was one of the three major American Fur Company posts on the upper Missouri River that were established to deal directly with the various tribes.

The Mandan village was a center of activity and was visited frequently by neighboring tribes, early white explorers and adventurers, including Catlin in 1832 and Maximilian and Bodmer in 1833-1834. In 1837, smallpox was introduced by the steamboat, St. Peters. The catastrophic epidemic which followed nearly annihilated the Mandan Tribe and forced the survivors to flee the village to escape the disease. The abandoned village was occupied by the Arikara in 1838. A second trading post, Fort Primeau, was established (ca. 1848) about 300 yards from Fort Clark to compete for the Indian trade. Both posts were abandoned
Story Board 1 image. Click for full size.
By Cindy Bullard, June 21, 2010
2. Story Board 1
prior to 1861 when the Arikara left to join the Mandan and Hidatsa at Like-a-Fishhook village.
 
Erected 1975 by State Historical Society of North Dakota.
 
Location. 47° 15.178′ N, 101° 16.691′ W. Marker is near Fort Clark, North Dakota, in Mercer County. Marker is on unnamed paved road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Site is located 0.6 miles north of state hwy. 200A. Marker is in this post office area: Stanton ND 58571, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lewis & Clark at the Knife River Indian Villages (approx. 7.4 miles away); Seaman (approx. 9.4 miles away).
 
Regarding Fort Clark Historic Site. An Arikara burial ground containing over 800 graves is located southwest of the village. The location of the ruins of houses, graves, and other surface features can be seen in the aerial photograph on the ND Historical web site.

Fort Clark was about 120 feet by 160 feet. It was abandoned in 1860 when the south half of the trading post burned.

Fort Primeau was about 70 feet by 120 feet. It was abandoned and/or burned in 1861.
 
Also see . . .
1. Fort Clark State Historical Site
Story Board Showing Fur Trade image. Click for full size.
By Cindy Bullard, June 21, 2010
3. Story Board Showing Fur Trade
. (Submitted on July 20, 2010, by David Bullard of Seneca, South Carolina.)
2. Knife River Indian Villages. (Submitted on July 23, 2010, by David Bullard of Seneca, South Carolina.)
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesNative Americans
 
Stone Shelter Build by the Civilian Conservation Corps During the 1930's image. Click for full size.
By Cindy Bullard, June 21, 2010
4. Stone Shelter Build by the Civilian Conservation Corps During the 1930's
This shelter is just south of the site of Fort Primeau and a few hundred feet north of the site of Fort Clark.
Walking Trail with Story Boards image. Click for full size.
By Cindy Bullard, June 21, 2010
5. Walking Trail with Story Boards
Missouri River Valley Below the Garrison Dam and Lake Sakakawea image. Click for full size.
By David Bullard, June 21, 2010
6. Missouri River Valley Below the Garrison Dam and Lake Sakakawea
The Missouri at this point was once deep enough for steamboats. The first steamboat to reach Fort Clark was the Yellow Stone in 1832.
Aerial View and Map image. Click for full size.
By David Bullard, June 21, 2010
7. Aerial View and Map
In the aerial photograph south is up. In the map north is up. The location of the CCC shelter is marked with the star.
Picture by George Catlin image. Click for full size.
circa 1832
8. Picture by George Catlin
Bird's Eye View of the Mandan Village from NPS web site. Picture donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum by Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 20, 2010, by David Bullard of Seneca, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,232 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on July 20, 2010, by David Bullard of Seneca, South Carolina.   8. submitted on July 23, 2010, by David Bullard of Seneca, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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