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Fort Totten, 12 miles southwest of Devils Lake City off Route 57, Devils Lake, Ramsey County, ND

Fort Totten, 12 miles southwest of Devils Lake City off Route 57, Devils Lake, Ramsey County, ND



Significance: The Fort Totten State Historic Site, administered by the State Historical Society of North Dakota (State Historical Board), is one of the best preserved military posts of the Trans-Mississippi West of the Indian War period. The site consists of approximately 9.81 acres located within the boundaries of the Fort Totten Indian Reservation. Originally, the drill and parade area enclosed by the square buildings was a center of activities for the Fort. This is the area presently owned by the State of North Dakota. Other portions of the Fort are still on land administered by the Bureau of the Indian Affairs. On the east side of the Square were the four Company Barracks (enlisted men's quarters); behind them were located two mess halls, a well house. Opposite this company area on the west side was the "Officers' Row," centered with the Commanding Officer's Quarters. Flanking these quarters were two Captain and First Lieutenant's Quarters and two Second Lieutenant's Quarters. Standing on the north side was the Hospital, Surgeon and Chaplain's Quarters, Magazine, and Quartermaster's Storehouse. A dead house stood outside the northwest corner of the Square. The south side included the Commissary Storehouse, Baker's Shop and Adjutant's Office. Outside the square were the stables and Quartermaster Storehouses, sinks, bathhouse, and other service buildings. Excluding one company barracks (enlisted men's quarters), the Square proper is exactly as it appeared when the post was closed in 1890 and as described above. One of the barracks was razed by fire and all but half of one mess hall, the dead house, well house and guard house were eliminated during the Bureau of Indian Affairs occupancy. An Indian school gymnasium was constructed in the area once occupied by the gutted barracks and one mess hall. Among subsequent additions to buildings are connections between two of the company barracks and two of the officers quarters. The area owned by the State of North Dakota includes nearly all the area designated as the "Fort Square." The early buildings outside the Square have long been removed. Major alterations were made to the interior of the existing structures when classrooms and vocational training facilities were needed for the Indian school, but the extent of these modification can only be determined by extensive research and investigation. In general, the buildings are in good condition even though considerable repair and maintenance work is needed to prevent further deterioration.
Survey number: HABS ND-17
Building/structure dates: 1867-1871 Initial Construction



Historic American Buildings Survey, creator
Smyth & Nash
Dale & Stead
Totten, Joseph Gilbert
Gryb, Barry R, field team
Anderson, Kenneth L, project manager
Boucher, Jack, photographer
Jacoby, Daniel L, delineator
State Historical Society of North Dakota, historian




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