American Forts: West


Bijou's Post | Fort Bouis | Camp Bradley | Fort Brasseaux | A. Brasseaux' Post
J. Brasseau's Post (1) (2) | Fort Brookings | James Brown's Post | Joseph Brown's Post (1)
Joseph Brown's Post (2) | Fort Brule (2) | Buffalo Lake Post | Campbell's Post
Cedar Fort (1) | Cedar Fort (2) | Fort aux Cèdres | Chanopa Post | Camp Cook (1)
Camp Cook (2) | Crow Creek Post | Post at Crow Creek Agency | Fort Dakota
Fort Defiance (1) | Fort Des Roche | Camp Dewey | Dickson's Post (1) | Dickson's Post (2)
Disaul's Post | Dixon's Post (1) | Dixon's Post (2) | Fort Dole | Camp Edwards | Elk Point Post
Elm River Post | Camp near Firesteel Creek | Flandreau Post | French Post (2)
Frost-Todd Post | Fort Hale | Handy's Point Post | Fort Hutchson | Immell's Post | Fort James
James River Post (1) | James River Post (2) | James River Post (3) | Camp Jamison
Camp Jennison | Fort Kiowa | La Barge's Post | Fort La Roche | Lac Traverse Post (1)
Lake Traverse Post (2) | Fort Larouche | LeBlanc's Post | LeClerc's Post (1) | Loisel's Post (1)
Loisel's Post (2) | Fort Lookout (1) | Fort Lookout (2) | Fort Lookout (3) | Fort Lookout (4)
Post at Lower Brulé Agency | Camp McClaren | McClellan's Post | McLeod's Post
Fort Manuel (2) | Camp Marshall | Fort Michel Chez des Sioux | Mooers' Post
Moreau-Robar Post | Cantonment Oakwood (2) | Oakwood Post (1) | Camp Pleasant
Pilcher's Post | Ponca House | Prehistoric Indian Village | Camp near Lake Preston
Fort Randall | Fort Recovery | Rondell's Post (1) | Rondell's Post (2) | Sieche Hollow Post
Fort Sisseton | Fort Sod | Spencer Post | Sublette and Campbell's Post (1) | Fort Thompson
Truteau's House | Two Woods Lake Post | Fort Vermillion (2) | Vermillion Post (1)
Fort Wadsworth | Post at Whetstone Agency | Yankton Agency | Fort Yankton (2)
Yankton Post (1) | Yankton Stockade

Western South Dakota - page 2



Last Update: 15/AUGUST/2019
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - ©2019 American Forts Network

Camps of General H.H. Sibley's Sioux Campaign
(1863), various locations
(see also NORTH DAKOTA and MINNESOTA pages)
Federal encampments during the campaign to crush the 1862-63 Dakota Sioux Uprising.
Camp Marshall, near Big Stone City.
Camp Jennison (or Jamison), near Hartford Beach (two miles west of Big Stone Lake).
Camp McClaren, opposite Browns Valley, MN.
Camp Bradley, northeast of Sisseton.
Camp Cook (1), near Veblen or Claire City, about 12 miles from Skunk Lake.

Lac Traverse Post (1)
(1817 - 1823), near White Rock
A Hudson's Bay Co. post.

Lake Traverse Post (2)
(1821 - 1827), near White Rock
A Columbia Fur Co. post.

Sieche Hollow Post
(Sica Hollow State Park)
(1844 - 1846 ?), near Sisseton
Originally called Joseph Brown's Post (2). Sold to the American Fur Co. in 1846. A stone marker is at the site.

Spencer Fur Post
(1862), near Hartford Beach
A fur trade post located less than one mile north of Mooers' former post (below). It seemingly was not harmed during the 1862 Dakota Sioux Uprising.

Hazen Mooers' Post
(Hartford Beach State Park)
(1818 - 1824 ?), Hartford Beach
An American Fur Co. post on the west bank of Big Stone Lake. U.S. Army Major Stephen Long's expedition camped here in July 1823. Abandoned sometime between 1824 to 1830. Mooers also operated a post on the Minnesota side of the lake in 1823 (see also).

Martin McLeod's Post
(1843 - 1857), Hartford Beach
An American Fur Co. post. Located just above the site of Mooers' Post. McLeod also operated a post on the Minnesota side of the lake (see also) from 1843-46. James Hayes was a trader here in 1845. Antoine Frenier was the last trader of record here in 1857.

Moreau-Robar Post
(1865), Hartford Beach
A trading post operated by Moses Moreau and Solomon Robar. Located at Linden Beach two miles downstream (southeast) of Mooers' Post.

NOTE: For other Lake Traverse and Big Stone Lake trade posts see also MINNESOTA page.

François Rondell's Post (2)
(1868 - 1870's), near Waubay
A trade store located on the southeast shore of Rush Lake, two miles west of town. Rondell was still living here in 1877, but by 1880 he had moved to Pickerel Lake.

Buffalo Lake Post
(1843 - 1846), near Eden
A fur trade post on the east side of Buffalo Lake, operated by Joseph Brown. Also known as Joseph Brown's Post (1). Sold to the American Fur Co. in 1846 after the lake went dry.

Fort Sisseton (State Park)
(1864 - 1889), near Lake City
A Federal fort built after the Dakota Sioux Uprising in Minnesota. Originally called Fort Wadsworth until 1876, renamed to avoid confusion with the fort in New York City, NY. It had two log blockhouses (one has been reconstructed). Many of the stone buildings were restored by the W.P.A. in 1936. Became a state park in 1959. Admission fee. A state marker is on SD 10 north of the park.

Colin Campbell's Fur Post
(1822 - 1828), near Frederick
A Hudson's Bay Co. stockaded trading post located seven miles southwest of town on the Dry Branch of the Elm River. Stone monument (1926) at site, in a field off of 382nd Ave. (County Road 6) near 111th Street. This was apparently not the same Colin Campbell who worked for the American Fur Company during this same time period and later, nor the former North West Company trader who worked in Manitoba. This Campbell supposedly returned to Scotland by 1830.

Elm River Post
(1835 - 1839 ?), Brown County
Originally a wintering post that was later enlarged with palisades and bastions. It was still in use in 1839. Exact location undetermined.

Pierre LeBlanc's Post
(1835, 1836 - 1851), Brown County
Originally a wintering post on the east side of a bend of the James River, six miles east and five miles south of present-day Warner. Burned down after LeBlanc left for the summer. Rebuilt by him during the next winter season (1836-37) about one mile west from the first site. LeBlanc was later killed by Indians in 1837. Later became James Brown's Post, which was also known as Oakwood Post (1).

François Rondell's Post (1)
(1866 - 1868), Brown County
A trade store located on the James River, 25 miles southeast of Aberdeen. A monument is located in Rondell Park, nine miles east of Mansfield. Possibly the same site as LeBlanc's Post (above).

William Dickson's Post (1)
(1822 - 1830 ?), Spink County
A Columbia Fur Co. trading post located somewhere on the middle James River (aka Riviére à Jacques), said to be near the Sioux' "Council Rock", but probably near the confluence with Mud Creek, near Mellette. Also spelled Dixon. Also known as James River Post (1). This was a subpost of Fort Tecumseh. Dickson may have moved the post several times during its operation, moving with the nomadic Yankton Sioux each season. Bought out by the American Fur Co. in 1827, Dickson may have built a new post that year.

James River Post (2)
(1824 - 1827), Spink County ?
A Bernard Pratte and Company fur trade post, operated by Sylvestre Pratte, the son of Bernard Pratte Sr., in opposition to the Columbia Fur Co. post run by William Dickson. Location undetermined. By 1827 Bernard Pratte and Co. had become part of the American Fur Co., as did the Columbia Fur Co., and the two James River posts were consolidated into one, and continued to be run by William Dickson.

Chanopa Post
(1835 ? - unknown), near Goodwyn
A fur trade post operated by Joseph LaFramboise in 1835, it may have been opened earlier than that. Later operated for several years by François LaBathe of Pratte, Chouteau and Co.. Located on the east side of Two Woods Lake (present-day School Lake ?). Also called Two Woods Lake Post.

Camp Edwards
(Oakwood Lakes State Park)
(1857, 1859, 1862 - 1865), near Bruce
Originally known as Cantonment Oakwood (2), located at the Oakwood Lakes. Reoccupied in June-July 1859 by two companies of infantry from Fort Randall, apparently known as Camp near Lake Preston. It was again reoccupied as Camp Edwards during the Dakota Sioux Uprising in 1862, and again by the Minnesota Volunteers in the winter of 1864-65. Five-foot high earthen breastworks surrounded the camp, enclosing a square 100 feet to a side. Marker and remnants of the earthworks located within Oakwood Lakes State Park, on the north shore of Round Lake.

Flandreau Post ?
(1760's ?, 1822 - 1830's), Flandreau
An American Fur Co. trading post operated by Joseph LaFramboise for several years. Philander Prescott operated the post in 1832-33. John Aitken was the trader here in 1834-35.

Local tradition maintains a Hudson's Bay Company trading post was once located in the vicinity, possibly as early as 1763 (never verified).

Fort James
(1865 - 1866), near Riverside
A quadrangular stone and log fort located on the west side of the James River at Firesteel Creek. Originally known as Camp near Firesteel Creek. Also known as Fort La Roche (or Larouche) or Fort Des Roche. Built by Iowa cavalry troops for stagecoach protection. The stone was later used by area settlers.

Prehistoric Indian Village
(c. 1000), Mitchell
Reconstructed lodge of a fortified Indian village. Excavations are ongoing. Located at Southside Park on Firesteel Creek (Lake Mitchell).

Fort Sod
(1858), Sioux Falls
A sod-walled enclosure, about 80 feet square, 10 feet high and four feet thick, with a ditch and loopholes, surrounded the stone-built Dakota Land Office building at the new settlement at the Falls of the Big Sioux River, after the nearby settlement of Medary was attacked and destroyed by Indians in the summer of 1858. The entire population of 35 stayed in the fort for protection against a possible Indian raid. A group of Sioux did arrive and "besieged" the fort for three days without attacking. The settlers continued to stay in the fort for six more weeks until food arrived. State marker (1997) located at South First Avenue/South Mall Avenue and River Road/East 9th Street.

Fort Dakota
(1865 - 1869), Sioux Falls
Built by the Army after the Sioux burned this and other nearby settlements. It had log and stone barracks. Possibly also known as Fort Brookings. Site is on Phillips Ave. between 7th and 8th Streets, marked by a 1941 D.A.R. plaque at the Chamber of Commerce building. The marker erroneously indicates a closure date of 1873, although one of the buildings may have lasted until then. A 1997 state marker for the Dubuque House Hotel (1857 - 1862), located on Falls Park Drive, gives the correct dates for Fort Dakota.
(website courtesy of Dave Rambow)

Camp George Dewey
(1898), Sioux Falls
A SD National Guard muster camp for the Spanish-American War. Located along the river near Nelson Park, across from the 10th Street viaduct. The state troops left for San Francisco, CA after about two weeks.

Fort Brule (2)
(1862 - 1868), Richland
A civilian/militia stockade erected during, or as a result of, the Dakota Sioux Uprising in Minnesota. It was dismantled in 1873. Granite monument (1937) at site on the east bank of Brule Creek, north of SD 50 one mile west of town.
(thanks to Jeff Barnes for providing info)

Elk Point Post ?
(1750's ?), Elk Point
Local tradition maintains a Hudson's Bay Company trading post was once located in the vicinity, possibly from the 1750's or later (never verified).

Camp Cook (2)
(1863), North Sioux City
A camp of the IA Volunteer Cavalry on the west bank of the Big Sioux River, about two miles north of town.

Fort Vermillion (2)
(1831 - 1851), near Burbank
An American Fur Co. post located on the east side of the "Kate Sweeny Bend" of the Missouri River (north bank), several miles east of the mouth of the Vermillion River, about two miles southeast of town. Also known as William Dickson's (Dixon's) Post (2) (to 1839 when Dickson died). This possibly may have been the Yankton Post (1) (1831-32) (for the Yankton Sioux trade) (see also James River Post (3) listed below). The river bank here has been completely eroded and reshaped since that time.
(thanks to John Ludwickson for providing info)

Vermillion Post (1)
(1822 - 1827 ?), near Meckling
A Columbia Fur Co. post traditionally said to be located on the Missouri River several miles west of the mouth of the Vermillion River, in present-day Norway Township at Audubon Point just east of the Clay - Yankton County line, opposite Petit Arc Creek in Nebraska.

NOTE: There are two state markers, apparently marking two different posts during the same period. One marker is located at Burbank denoting the site of Fort Vermillion about two miles southeast, the other marker is located just east of Gayville denoting Audubon Point six miles south as the site of Vermillion Post. William Dickson, a trader working for the Columbia Fur Co. among the Yankton Sioux, did NOT operate a post on the Missouri River during this time, but was known to be operating a post on the middle James River in present-day Spink County, near Redfield (see William Dickson's Post (1) listed above). The Columbia Fur Company's Vermillion Post was bought out by the American Fur Company in 1827. If Vermillion Post continued operating under American Fur with William Dickson at the helm, it is possible that Vermillion Post was actually located somewhere else up the Vermillion River. Additionally, it has been well established by state historians that there was never a trade post located at the mouth of the Vermillion River. If the Columbia Fur post was located on the Missouri River at Audubon Point, it was closed well before American Fur and William Dickson built Fort Vermillion downriver at the Sweeny Bend in 1831, as there was no mention of another post operating in the vicinity at the time.

Robert McClellan's Trading Post
(1805 - 1806), near Gayville
An independent trading post located several miles below the mouth of the James River, just west of the Yankton - Clay County line. Still in operation when the Lewis and Clark Expedition returned downriver in 1806. This was apparently the second known American trade post established on the Upper Missouri River.

James River Post (3)
(1831), Yankton County
The American Fur Co. (Upper Missouri Outfit) obtained a license in 1831 for a trading post on the James River, purportedly to be run by William Dickson. This possibly may have been the Yankton Post (1) (1831-32) (for the Yankton Sioux trade). Undetermined exact location, possibly at the mouth of the river. This was not the same post as Fort Vermillion located further east, but was apparently superseded by it.

Frost-Todd Trading Post
(1857 - 1861), near Mission Hill
A trading post operated by Frost, Todd and Co., located on the Missouri River near the Yankton Indian Agency. In 1859 the post was taken over by Charles Primeau and Malcolm Clark. Originally located at a site 3.7 miles east of Yankton, the main part of the former post, a log house, was relocated to Yankton in 1867 to present-day 2nd and Walnut Streets as a private home, where it still stands as the town's oldest building.

Fort Hutchson
(1864), near Yankton
A military post (probably IA Volunteers), located east of town at the mouth of the James River. Its site is shown on a state marker located on SD 50 in Junction City.

Fort Yankton (2)
(1862), Yankton
A civilian 450-foot square log and earth stockade erected in September 1862 during the Dakota Sioux Uprising, also referred to as the Yankton Stockade. The only building within the stockade was H.C. Ash's Tavern/Hotel (Stetson Hotel) (1861). Site located between Broadway and Cedar, and Third and Fourth Streets. Most of the residents of Sioux Falls also took shelter here during the crisis.

Emanuel Disaul's Trading Post ?
(1815 - unknown), Springfield
A French-Canadian fur trader's post located at the mouth of Emanuel Creek.

Narcisse LeClerc's Trading Post (1)
(1830's), near Greenwood
An independent (Northwest Fur Company) fur trade post probably located on the Missouri River somewhere above the mouth of Chouteau Creek. Another source indicates that this particular LeClerc's Post may have actually been located somewhere close to Fort Kiowa/Lookout (1) near Chamberlain, although there is a possibility that there was a third post built by LeClerc.

Fort Dole
(1862), Greenwood
An octagonal two-story timber blockhouse with three guns, built by Walter Burleigh, the agent at the Yankton Indian Agency, during tensions between the Upper Sioux and the Yankton Sioux.

Jean Baptiste Truteau's House
(1794 - 1795), near Marty
A simple log cabin wintering trading house, supposedly the first dwelling in the state built by a white man. Also called Ponca House. Located about one mile upstream of "Old Baldy", about eight miles below the present-day Fort Randall Dam. Lewis and Clark mentioned the site in passing in September 1804. The exact site, near Wheeler, no longer exists due to river erosion.

Handy's Point Trading Post
(1843 - unknown), near Pickstown
A small, independent trading post was reportedly located at Handy's Point, about four miles below the present-day Fort Randall Dam, according to one source.

Fort Randall
(US Army Corps of Engineers - Fort Randall Dam Project)
(1856 - 1892), near Pickstown
Located on the southern side of the dam, on the west side of the Missouri River. This was the longest serving Army post on the Missouri River. Built to replace Fort Pierre (1). It became General Sully's base of operations against the Sioux in 1863 - 1865. During 1870 - 1872 the post was rebuilt at the present site, one-quarter mile from the original location and just downstream. Only the 1875 Post Chapel was spared from the impoundment project, the ruins of which were stabilized in 1953 from original plans. The site has several interpretive signposts. The Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Center east of the dam has the history and exhibits of the fort.

Post at Whetstone Indian Agency
(1870 - 1872), near Bonesteel
A Federal stockade with two blockhouses on the Missouri River east of town, 18 miles upriver from the Fort Randall Dam. A subpost of Fort Randall. The site, near the former mouth of Whetstone Creek, is now underwater.

Camp Pleasant
(1804, 1806), near Oacoma
A campsite of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, located about one mile above Corvus (American Crow) Creek. Used in September 1804, and again in August 1806. State marker on US 16 just east of town.

Fort Recovery
(1821 - 1824, 1825 - 1830), near Chamberlain
A St. Louis Missouri Fur Co. post built on American (Cedar) Island. Also known as Cedar Fort (2). Closed in 1824, but reopened the next year as Joshua Pilcher's Post (1825 - 1826). It was also apparently known as Antoine Brasseaux' Post, either before (1823 ?) or after Pilcher ran it. Located 0.8 mile below town, the site is now underwater (Fort Randall Lake) (since 1953).

Micheal Immell's Post
(1811 - 1812), near Chamberlain
A wintering post used by the St. Louis Missouri Fur Co.. Also known as Fort Michel Chez des Sioux. Site located just north of town.

Fort Lookout (2)
(1822 - 1828 ?, 1828 ? - 1830, 1833 - 1834, 1840 - 1841), Fort Lookout
A Columbia Fur Co. trade post. Burned when or after it was abandoned, sometime after the company was absorbed by the American Fur Co. (in 1827). The Pierre D. Papin and Company (aka the French Company) took over and rebuilt the post (French Post (2)) in 1828 (or 1829) - 1830. This second post also burned down after it was abandoned. Located on the west bank of the Missouri River about 10 miles upriver from Chamberlain, about 300 yards south of the Fort Lookout (4) site.

In 1833 William Sublette and Robert Campbell built yet another trade post (Sublette and Campbell's Post (1)) just above (north of) the French Post site, in opposition to the nearby American Fur Co. post (Fort Kiowa/Lookout (3)). In late 1840 a fourth post was built and operated during the winter as John La Barge's Post. It was by then simply a log house that was not palisaded.

Fort Lookout (4)
(1856 - 1857, 1863 ?), Fort Lookout
A temporary U.S. Army post, located on the west bank of the Missouri River about 10 miles above Chamberlain, about 300 yards north of the site of Fort Lookout (2). After it was dismantled, salvageable materials were sent downriver to build Fort Randall then still under construction. The site may have been later used as a campsite by Capt. Whitney's troops during the 1863 Sioux Uprising Campaign.

Fort Kiowa
(1822 - 1825, 1831 ? - 1843 ?), near Fort Lookout
An American Fur Co. (Berthold, Chouteau, and Pratte Company - Bernard Pratte and Co. after 1823) fur trade post, located on the west bank of the Missouri River about 12 miles above Chamberlain. Also known as Joseph Brasseau's Post (2) (or Fort Brasseaux), and/or Fort Lookout (1). It was a 140-foot square palisade with a blockhouse and watch tower in the two opposite corners. Abandoned in 1825 but later rebuilt (before 1833, and possibly on a separate but adjacent site) by the American Fur Co. (Pratte, Chouteau and Co. - Pierre Chouteau and Co. after 1839) as Fort Lookout (3). This second post also functioned as the Sioux Indian Agency during its time. Site is now underwater (Fort Randall Lake).
(NOTE: Various past editions of the South Dakota Official State Highway Map show a date of 1882 for this site, which was apparently a misprint. Newer editions show the correct date of 1822.)

Joseph Brasseau's Post (1) (1819 - 1821), under Berthold and Chouteau, was supposedly located somewhere near a "Cedar Island". This may be referring to Fort Kiowa's site or nearby, or a site just downstream near Fort Recovery's Cedar Island, or possibly further upriver near Loisel's Cedar Island.

Crow Creek Post
(1848 - unknown), near Shelby
An American Fur Co. post located at the mouth of Crow Creek (or a few hundred yards up Campbell Creek ?), downstream of the Missouri River's "Grand Detour", operated by Colin Campbell.

Fort Hale
(Lower Brulé Indian Reservation)
(1870 - 1884), near Reliance
Originally named Post at Lower Brulé Indian Agency, or Fort Lower Brulé, located 15 miles south, opposite Chamberlain, then moved to the current site one month later, opposite Crow Creek. Renamed in 1878. The exact site, northeast of town, is now underwater. All remaining visible traces were washed away in the 1952 flood. The Officers' Quarters was sold and later became the Taft Hotel in Chamberlain, at King and Main Streets, until 1962. It was moved in 1989 to the vicinity of Exit 263 of I-90, but burned down in 1990.

Fort Thompson
(Crow Creek Indian Reservation)
(1864 - 1867, 1870 - 1871), Fort Thompson
A Federal 300-by-400-foot stockade located at the mouth of Soldier Creek, originally named Post at Crow Creek Indian Agency. Became a subpost of Fort Sully (2) in 1870. The government turned the fort over to the Crow Creek Agency in 1871. It was dismantled in 1878. Site located two miles south of the town of Fort Thompson.

Régis Loisel's Post (2)
(1803 - 1804), near Lower Brule
A St. Louis trader's wintering post located on Goat Island in the Missouri River, near the mouth of Tyler's River (Medicine Creek). Loisel returned to St. Louis in the summer of 1804 where he later died (October 1804). No trace remains of the island today.

Fort Defiance (1)
(Lower Brule Indian Reservation)
(1846 - 1851), near Lower Brule
A fur trading post located on the west side of the mouth of Medicine Creek, established by ex-employees of the American Fur Co. (Harvey, Primeau and Co.). Also called Fort (Anthony T.) Bouis. Site is most likely now under water (Lake Sharpe).
(NOTE: Various past editions of the South Dakota Official State Highway Map show a date of 1842 for this site, which is not correct.)

Fort Manuel (Lisa) (2)
(1813 - 1814), Lyman County
As a result of the War of 1812 and tensions with the British and their Indian allies, Manuel Lisa transported goods and materiel from his upriver post near present-day Kenel (see page 2) and set up a new but temporary post on or near the "Big Bend" of the Missouri River, most likely at or near Bijou's Post (see below), but also possibly further down river, well below Medicine Creek, near Lower Brule.

Régis Loisel's Post (1)
(1802 - 1803), Lyman County
A St. Louis trader's wintering post located on the south side of Cedar Island (aka Dorion's Island), about 7 or 8 miles below the mouth of Chappelle Creek, well above the Missouri River's "Grand Detour". It was a log palisade about 65 feet by 75 feet, with four sentry boxes in each corner, and a four-room log house. The abandoned Cedar Island post was mentioned in passing by Lewis and Clark in September 1804. Located near the present-day Cedar Creek Marina near the northern Lyman County line, the exact site is now underwater (Lake Sharpe). A state marker (1955) is located in Hughes County on SD 34 at Chappelle Road, near De Grey, about five miles upstream of the former island.

The St. Louis Missouri Fur Co. rebuilt Loisel's former post in 1809 as Fort aux Cèdres (Cedar Fort (1)) (1809 - 1810), which was later destroyed by fire. Rebuilt by the St. Louis Missouri Fur Co. (under Manuel Lisa) in the summer of 1812 as Louis Bijou's Post (1812 - 1813), it lasted only one season under Bijou. A possible alternate site for Bijou's Post is on the west (or south) bank of the river (in Lyman County) opposite the southern end of the island. This site is also now underwater.

Western South Dakota - page 2

QUESTIONS ? Please send any corrections and/or additions to this list to:
"Updates" at