Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fort Randall ruins

For those with an interest in military history, the remains of Fort Randall are still accessible just below Fort Randall Dam at Pickstown in the south central portion of South Dakota.

Established in 1856, Fort Randall was typical of military posts in the territory. It was most well-known as the place of imprisonment for famous Lakota Chief Sitting Bull. The great chief lived at the fort for over two years before being transferred to Fort Yates in North Dakota.

A walking tour of the parade grounds reveals depressions where the fort's buildings used to stand. Interpretive signs and a booklet provided by the US Army Corps of Engineers details the fort layout.

At one time the Fort Randall conisted of over 20 buildings. The only remaining structure is the crumbling ruins of the post chapel. Built of yellow chalk rock, weather deteriorated the building over the years, necessitating a protective roof covering what's left.

The fort's cemetery was restored in 1985 and includes 86 graves, 34 of which are unkown.

More information about the fort can be found here.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing.