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Fort Wadsworth Agency and Scout Headquarters

Location: Broadway and Dakota avenues, Browns Valley, Traverse County
Built: 1864-71
Builder: Local American Indians under direction of Major Joseph R. Brown
Listed on NRHP: July 17, 1986

As Minnesota grew more populous, conflicts often arose between American Indians who had lived on the land for centuries and newcomers seeking a place to homestead. After the Dakota Conflict of 1862, the U.S. War Department issued orders to build four frontier outposts to protect the homesteaders. Fort Wadsworth (later known as Fort Sisseton) was established near Kettle Lake in what is now South Dakota.

In 1864 the Agency and Scout Headquarters building was built one mile east of the fort, on the shore of Kettle Lake. The 18-foot-by-49-foot log structure was constructed using a French-Canadian method known as pièce-sur-pièce, in which logs are laid horizontally between vertical timber-frame posts. In 1866 the building was dismantled and reconstructed near Lake Traverse in Minnesota. It was moved again in 1871 to its present location on the Little Minnesota River in Browns Valley. The only surviving log building associated with Fort Wadsworth and a rare example of pièce-sur-pièce construction, it serves today as a museum.




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Click to go to larger photo of Fort Wadsworth Agency and Scout Headquarters Building.
Click to go to larger photo of Fort Wadsworth Agency and Scout Headquarters Building.
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