Fort Pembina (1870-1895) - A U.S. Army Fort established in 1870 as Fort George H. Thomas by Captain Loyd Wheaton, 20th U.S. Infantry, in present day Pembina, Pembina County, North Dakota. Named for Major General George H. Thomas, who died on March 28, 1870. Renamed Fort Pembina on 6 Sep 1870. Abandoned in 1895.
Fort Pembina History
Established by Captain Loyd Wheaton, 20th U.S. Infantry, and completed 8 Jul 1870. This was a post designed to garrison two companies of troops but normally held fewer. In the latter years of post operation the garrison was often less than 100. In October 1885 the post reported a garrison of 97 men, 2 field artillery pieces, 1 mountain howitzer, 100 rifles, 19 pistols, 6 horses, 23 mules and 9 wagons of various kinds.
In 1872 the post provided an escort for the American Boundary Commission as they determined the U.S. Canadian border between the Red River and the Lake of the Woods.
On 27 May 1895 buildings 9 to 19 were destroyed by fire between 5 and 6 am. Two barracks, a billiard room, library, cookhouse, oil house, commissary storehouse and the commanding officer's office were destroyed. The powder magazine was saved along with most of the property inside the buildings. The damage was estimated at $25,000, a large sum at the time, and a decision was made to close the post rather than rebuild.
The post was quickly turned over to Interior Department per General Order 40, 6 Jul 1895 and abandoned per Special Order 109, 15 Jul 1895 on 22 Jul 1895. The post property was auctioned off in 1902.
No remains in Pembina, Pembina County, North Dakota
Location: Site adjacent to the airport in Pembina, Pembina County, North Dakota. Map point may not be accurate.
Maps & Images
Lat: 48.9491259 Long: -97.256813
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 632
- Hart, Herbert M., Tour Guide to Old Western Forts, Pruett Publishing Co., Boulder CO, 1980, ISBN 0-87108-568-2, page 115
- Frazer, Robert W., Forts of the West, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman OK, 1965, ISBN 0-8061-1250-6, page 112-113
- North American Forts - Fort Pembina
- Roots Web - Fort Pembina
- North Dakota Historical Society - Fort Pembina
- New York Times - Fort Pembina Fire
Fort Pembina Picture Gallery
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