4480 Fort Lincoln Road, Mandan, ND

(701) 667-6340

Status: Historic Fort



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By <a href="//" title="User:MatthewUND">MatthewUND</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 3.0Link


The confluence of the Missouri and Heart Rivers was the ancestral home of the Mandan Indigenous Tribe from about the mid-16th century. That is until the European colonizers brought Smallpox to North America devastating these and many other Aboriginal populations.

In June of 1872 the United States Army built a fort on the former spot of the Mandan Village. They named this location Fort McKeen with two companies of infantry. By November of that same year the fort was expanded to include first three – then six – companies and a calvary post.

The name of the fort was changed to Fort Abraham Lincoln and in 1873 the 7th Calvary was moved in to protect the interests of the newly expanding railway. The first Commander of this newly expanded facility was Lt Col George A Custer.

In 1876 the troops left this fort to take part in the Great Sioux War in which the non-treaty Indigenous population was to be forced back onto their government reservations. This US incursion resulted in the Battle of the Greasy Grass; more commonly known as the Battle of Little Bighorn and Custer’s Last Stand. Neither Custer nor half his troops ever returned to the Fort.

The Fort was abandoned in 1891 and the locals raided the site for wooden building materials. In 1907 President Theodore Roosevelt signed the land over to the State to create a State Park.

From the 1930’s on the State began a reconstruction of the fort culminating in a reconstruction of the house Custer lived in built in 1989.


Paranormal Activity

There is a seasonal haunted house attraction at the old fort every Halloween but once the actors go home the real ghosts come back out to play.

When the Custer’s home was reconstructed apparently the ghosts of the man and his wife, Libby, returned as well. Phantom footsteps and disembodied voices are attributed to both George and Libby.

The apparition of Libby is often seen – dressed in black – staring out of the second story window. She is also said to be responsible for loud stamping and doors slamming on their own in the house.

Other Activity: apparitions of soldiers in blue wander the grounds – these ghosts are thought to be the soldiers who left the fort for battle and never returned; cold spots; touches by unseen presences and feelings of unease, not being alone and being watched.