Washburn, North Dakota
Your admission to the
Lewis and Clark Interpretive
includes exploring Fort Mandan.
For additional information contact:
North Dakota Lewis and Clark
P.O. Box 607
Washburn, North Dakota 58577
1 - 701- 462-8535
Or email us!
47 ° 17. 55 N
101° 05.19 W
WELCOME TO FORT MANDAN
NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
The winter headquarters (1804-1805) for the Corps of Discovery was
constructed by the Expedition and named after their Native American
hosts. (Photo credit: North Dakota Tourism)
November 20, 1804: "We this day moved
into our huts which are now completed. This place which we
call Fort Mandan, is situated in a point of low ground, on the north
side of the Missouri, covered with tall and heavy cottonwood".
This site, located a few miles downstream from the actual
site, is a full-sized reconstruction of the trapezoidal fort.
Click here to view the
November 20, 1804: " The works consist of two
rows of huts or sheds, forming an angle where they joined each
other; each row containing four rooms, of 14 feet square and 7 feet
high, with plank ceiling, and the roof slanting so as to form a loft
above the rooms, the highest point of which is 18 feet from the
ground". Captain Clark
It is here that the explorers were befriended by the
area's Native Americans who taught them how to gather food and cope with
the frigid temperatures.
(Hidatsa spelling) son,
was also born at the fort.
December 7, 1804:
"the Big White Grand Chief of the
1st village, came
and informed us that a large Drove of Buffalow was near and his
people was waiting for us to join them in a chase."Captain Clark
December 8 - 25, 1804
January 5, 1805:
"a Buffalo Dance for 3 nights passed in the 1st Village, a
curious custom, all this is to cause the buffalow to Come near So
that they may kill." Captain Clark
January 10, 1805: "last night
was excessively Cold the Murckery this morning Stood at 40 ° below 0
which is 72° below the freesing point, about 10 oClock the boy about
13 years of age Came to the fort with his feet frosed and had layed
out last night without fire with only a Buffalow Robe to Cover him,
Customs & the habits of those people has them to bare more Cold than
I thought it possible for man to endure." Captain Clark
February 11, 1805: " about five
oClock this evening one of the wives of Charbono (Sakakawea) was
delivered of a fine boy." Captain Clark
|How cold was the
Winter of 1804 and 1805?
The winter was one of the harshest the Corp of
Discovery had ever spent. The Keelboat was frozen solid
in the Missouri River and the hunt for food was never
ending. The men however enjoyed the winter in what is
now North Dakota. They spent many nights celebrating
with the Indians, dancing and playing music. Except for
a few mentions of cold in the journals, the men looked
forward to returning to
Whether you're planning a
weekend getaway or a week-long vacation in Bismarck, Mandan, or
Washburn, North Dakota, LewisandClarkTrail.com
is your online connection for hotel reservations.
Know where you want to
go? Search for the hotel rooms.
Still planning your trip? Find
events on the LewisandClarkTrail.com events calendar, read
travel stories and then finish planning your trip by booking
your hotel and making hotel reservations at
Locate the hotel that
meets your travel needs.