The association that works to preserve one of the largest U. S. Cavalry forts in the country has come up with grants in an increasingly difficult fund-seeking environment, and is doing work on buildings on the north side of the fort.
Gary Wilson, president of the Fort Assinniboine Preservation Association, said his group received grants from the Burlington Northern Foundation, NorthWestern Energy and Triangle Communications, and is using the money for work repainting and staining covers placed on buildings at the fort, located about 6 miles south of Havre.
The covers were put over windows and doors at the buildings some 20 years ago, and need need new stain and paint, he said.
“To protect them against the elements, ” Wilson said.
Wilson said more work also is planned. Preservation association members will be helping David Whittaker do work on the south double guard cavalry stable and work to replace worn wood on the single stable, called the carriage house.
The fort was established in 1879 following the Battle of Little Big Horn and the Battle of the Bear Paws, and was one of the largest military installations west of the Mississippi River. In its heyday, before being de-commissioned in 1911, the fort had 104 buildings and was contained within a 700-acre military reservation. It also housed the “Buffalo Soldiers” of the 10th Cavalry that went on to fame in the Spanish-American War, including with John “Black Jack” Pershing, who went on to become the leader of Allied forces in World War I.