Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
Fort Abraham Lincoln is a state Park located seven miles
south of Mandan, North Dakota.
It is home to On-A-Slant Indian
Village, the Custer house and the blockhouses.
In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the deed to the
land to the state as Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.
Within Fort Abraham Lincoln, you will find the ruins of the
On-A-Slant Indian Village. The village was first established
back in 1957 and was one of the nine southernmost villages
in the mouth of the Heart River which they believed to be the
center of the universe. The village was so-called 'on-a-slant'
because of its sloping position towards the river. The
village contained 75 earthlodges with a population of around
1000 people. These earthenlodges were constructed and owned by
the women. After prospering on the site
for two centuries, a smallpox epidemic hit the
population in 1781 virtually eliminating the Heart River region
of Mandan. The survivors moved north towards the Missouri River
eventually joining the Hidatsa near the Knife River.
Also found in Fort Abraham Lincoln is the Custer house,
pictured above, is where
Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, a United States
Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil war and
the Indian Wars, with his wife Libby lived from
1873 until Lt. Col. Custer died at the Battle of the Little
Big Horn, which is also popularly known as "Custer's last
stand", during the spring of 1876. The first house was
built during the summer of 1873 but it burned down in 1874.
Following Custer's death, he was given
full military honors and was buried on the battlefield and
was later moved to the West Point Cemetery.
The state park offer tours of the house as well as the barracks
that housed the 650 troops that were stationed there.
Also located in Fort Abraham State Park is Five Nation Arts, an
art store that offers all kinds of Native American art such as
paintings, sculptures, dreamcatchers, jewelry and beadwork which
was created by the local artisans.
Nation Arts is also part of the Fort Abraham Lincoln
Foundation, a non-profit organization that is focused on the
maintenance and promotion of the historical perspectives and
heritage of Fort Lincoln and the rest of North Dakota.