What lies within Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park is more than a house, but an important symbol of North Dakota history.
“The commanding officer’s house at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park really represents a sensitive and hard chapter in the United States history,” said Aaron Barth, Executive Director at Northern Plains Heritage area.
Barth is referring to Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, where he lived in this house with his wife in the late 1800s. He was a U.S. military officer and commander during the civil war. Many saw him as a war hero and others criticize him for his exploits against Native Americans in the West.
A few years after his death in the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, his house became a place holder for everyone to see. It was 30 years since Custer’s house was re-created and for many years it has been a controversial topic.
“Most of us were pretty against it because the focus of interpretation would have gone on Custer and not about the tribes. The perspective is changing now. I am not going to say it’s positive but it’s acceptable now. Meaning we now have the opportunity and knowledge of telling both sides of the story,” said Gerald Baker, Former Assistant Director for the National Park Service.
Today, tourists got a chance to take a tour in Custer’s home, and learn about his blueprint on history. And it’s said to have shaped the tourism industry in the state.
“This is one of those unique experiences that you can only get here,” said Barth.
The state park also features the reconstructed On-a-Slant Indian Village and a reconstructed military fort where you can see the barracks and officer’s quarters.