North Dakota Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center
P.O. Box 607
Washburn, ND 58577-0607
The winter headquarters (1804-1805) for the Corps of Discovery was
constructed by the Expedition and named after their Native American
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". Captain Clark
This site, located a few miles downstream from the actual site, is
a full-sized reconstruction of the trapezoidal fort.
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 adventurers were befriended by the area's Native
Americans who taught them how to gather food and cope with the frigid
temperatures. Sakakawea's (Hidatsa spelling) son, Baptiste, 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 o Clock this evening one of
the wives of Charbono (Sakakawea) was delivered of a fine boy."
2 miles west of the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center on McLean
County Highway 17
Hours of Operation
Fort Mandan and the North Dakota Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center
are open all year. Memorial Day through Labor Day, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m;
remainder of year 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission to Fort Mandan and Interpretive Center
Students (K-College) $3.00
Foundation members free.
To arrange a school field trip to the Interpretive Center and Fort
Mandan, call (877) 462-8535. Student admission for prescheduled school
tour groups is $2.00 per person.
To arrange a group tour to the Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan,
call (877) 462-8535. Group tour admission is $4.00 per person.
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