Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site opens for the summer

From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, the Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site is open all summer long.

ABERCROMBIE, N.D. (KVRR) — The Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site is kicking off Memorial Day weekend with its opening day.

“Today is the opening of a season after COVID-19 season. It’s a great day, where things are back to normal and we have a great crowd out here today enjoying the local history,” Fort Abercrombie Site Supervisor, Lenny Krueger said.

From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, the Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site is open all summer long. Visitors can take guided tours, stop by the museum to look at military artifacts, and there were special attendees on opening day.

“The reenactors are here today for a drill day for their unit, 5th Minnesota and they will be back here on July 24th for Aber Day for 2021,” Krueger said.

The 5th Minnesota Infantry Company D is reenacting the life of the soldiers at Fort Abercrombie during the year 1862.

“The company was sent here to Fort Abercrombie to garrison the post during the time of the Dakota War,” The 5th Minnesota Infantry Company D First Lieutenant, Daniel Sauerwein said.

Known historically as “the Gateway to the Dakotas,” Fort Abercrombie was established as the first permanent United States military fort.

Krueger says the soldiers were there to “protect the wagon trains and the steamboats. The steamboats on the Red River and the wagon train headed west.”

Although there are some differences from the 1800s, first lieutenant Daniel Sauerwein says it looks the same.

“In the grand scheme, it is fairly similar to what would have been here during a good chunk of the fort’s existence and use by the US army,” Sauerwein said.

4-year-time 5th Minnesota Infantry Company D private reenactor Joe Dickson says retelling history is his way of paying respect during the Memorial Weekend.

“Most of us go walk graves. Some of us do different things. Some people forget what this holiday is all about. To me, this is a way to represent them,” Dickson said.

Our very own chief meteorologist Rob Kupec will be making an appearance on Aber Day. You can find more information here.

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