Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Special Studies: M.S.
College of Liberal Arts
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
U.S. Dakota War, 1862, Minnesota settlers, fort, Fair Haven
The goal of this thesis is twofold. The first step was to perform archaeological test excavations on the Fort Fair Haven site in order to confirm that we had, in fact, located the 1862 historical site of Fort Fair Haven. Once we successfully determined that it was indeed the fort, then the second step was to analyze these findings and use them in conjunction with archival research in order to better understand what kind of actual defensive function it could have provided. A specific way of doing this is to compare the civilian fort’s design with those of military fortifications of the period.
The data recovered strongly suggests that we did indeed successfully locate Fort Fair Haven. Because of the somewhat haphazard placement of the posts and their overall lack of uniformity, however, the so-called fort may have better been considered a makeshift barricade. With this in mind, the structure contrasts greatly with contemporary military fortifications, though it does share some similarities with other frontier outposts and palisades of the same period. The fort’s structure may have therefore served some practical function of slowing down—if not entirely repelling—potential intruders.
Dupre, Jacob G., "Finding Fort Fair Haven: Archaeological Investigations of an 1862 Settlers' Fort" (2017). Culminating Projects in Cultural Resource Management. 11.