South Dakota July 21, 2018
Everyone In South Dakota Should See What’s Inside The Walls Of This Abandoned Fort
South Dakota’s early history captures the imagination and evokes images of wild places and adventure. Step back in time and get a glimpse of what life looked like in Dakota Territory in the mid-19th century at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park:
Fort Sisseton Historic State Park is located in the northeast part of South Dakota, near Lake City. The address of the park is 11907 434th Avenue
Lake City, SD 57247.
Established in 1864, the fort was originally called Fort Wadsworth, and it provided protection to new settlers in the Dakota territory. The name was later changed to Fort Sisseton, the name of a nearby Indian tribe.
The fort was only in commission for a short time. Abandoned in 1889, it soon started to crumble.
Luckily, restoration on some of the buildings here was started in the 1930s, before the entire fort was lost forever. The site became a state park in the 1960s.
While some of the original fort is no longer standing, 15 of the buildings remain, and visitors can tour them to see what life was like at this outpost in the 1860s.
Visitors to the state park pay just $6 per vehicle to enter. Stroll the grounds to see buildings including the powder magazine, barracks, officer quarters, guard house, and more. The Visitors Center is open May through August every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and reduced hours the rest of the year.
Inside the Visitor Center, you'll find interpretive displays and artifacts such as weapons, uniforms and the original flag that flew over the fort during its commission. You can also join a guided tour at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 4 p.m..
Imagine what it would have been like to be stationed at this fort back in the late 1800s. The enlisted men's barracks give you an idea of the daily life of the young men who served at Fort Sisseton.
You'll also explore the fort's kitchen. The soldiers here enjoyed fairly diverse rations that included fresh beef and produce from the fort gardens.
Check out the weapons that were used to defend the fort, such as this cannon that weighs 1207 pounds!
The fort hosts several special events during the year. Visitors will see re-enactments and demonstrations of black powder rifles and cannons, riders in formation, and even cooking demonstrations.
Fort Sisseton Historic State Park makes a great day trip destination, but you can also stay overnight here in a cabin or Sibley tent, or bring your RV to the campground. Other activities include hiking boating, and fishing in Lake Kettle.
Get more information at
Fort Sisseton Historic State Park’s website, and follow the park on its Facebook page to stay abreast of upcoming events. Have you visited Fort Sisseton Historic State Park? We’d love to hear about your visit!
If you love to immerse yourself in South Dakota’s history,
take a ride on this train that will take you back in time.