Fort Totten State Historical Site - Friday, 7/15/16

Jimmy and I always try to look up places of interest or museums or something to see/do in the towns and areas where we light.  Fort Totten caught our interest, so we set out to explore it.  We were in for a delightful surprise, and spent several hours touring the buildings.

Originally officers quarters, these buildings did double duty when the Indian School was formed.   Above, the 2nd Lieutenant's Quarters became the Sew and Tailor Shop.  The military decommissioned the post in 1890.

The sign below the bell reads:  Children were awakened by bells, prompted to eat by bells, and directed to class by bells.  Bells rang in the ears of students throughout the day at Fort Totten -- just one example of the strict scheduling and regimentation of the school period.  "I used to just hate bells, honestly!" Grace Lambert, student, 1916-1920.  One hundred years ago!

It was fun seeing all the stuff that might have been for sale in an outpost, including the implements of horror in the photo below.  The walls were loaded with period pieces.

Not just no, but hell, no!

Hats and gloves and ties and material, and more!  It has everything!
Jimmy's favorite photos, above and below.

The classroom, like most at that time and place, seemed stark and certainly held little in creature comforts, and harsh discipline was more rule than exception.  Not a great epoch in our nation's history.  Jimmy looks like he needs to stay after school!

So, I walked around the corner of one of the old buildings and saw a dark spot on the wall, and I walked over to see what it was.  Whoa Nellie, pinch me, if it wasn't a live bat!  Not sure if it was a juvenile, as the ceiling/wall joint had a narrow bat-like opening above where the little fella was clinging, and perhaps it "fell out?"  Anyway, I didn't touch it and I didn't disturb it, but I knew it was alive when it wrinkled its li'l nose.  Weird, huh?

One of Fort Totten's barrack buildings was very different from the others!  Originally used as housing for officers and their families (1867-1890), then as employee housing during the Indian Boarding School era (1891-1960), it's been rejuvenated into a bed and breakfast! Totten Trail.

Jan serves as hostess; she lives in the building from Memorial Day-Labor Day.  She welcomed us and said, c'mon in, look around.  That evolved into a long house tour, with her throwing in all kinds of historical tidbits.  Each room has been carefully decorated to represent the years from 1870-1910, and each room was lovely.  It's open all year.

We really enjoyed peeking in all the rooms.  I'd stay there in a heartbeat if I didn't have a home-on-wheels.  Think it's haunted?  Some do.  Lots and lots of history here.

We admired this beautiful staircase to the second floor.

We ate our granola bars sitting at a picnic table on the park's grassy grounds, absorbing those stories from a bygone age, imagining how life was back then.  Then we decided life today is very good.  Tomorrow we'll visit another of the area's attractions.


  1. Neat old fort. We love those, and two stand out in my memory: old Bents fort in southeast Colorado of the Santa Fe Trail and Fort Davis in Texas. Fun places. Can you imagine having to wear all those clothes women had to wear??!! In the heat and the mud? Geez we are lucky.

  2. What a great fort ... the forts of those era seem to share a certain similar layout. Nice that they converted one of the buildings into a B&B. I agree with the "hell no" picture.

  3. Can you believe women are "waist training" again? Seriously, it's a thing. My cousin now runs a lingerie shop and my aunt was trying to get me to go the other day by saying it was tasteful stuff, and corsets. My opinion? Nothing tasteful about squeezing yourself into one of those!


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