Thursday, July 26 – All is going great here in Canton, Ohio. We have been very busy visiting family and friends. We will summarize some of those visits in the future posts.
We will be doing some flashbacks to places we have visited but did not have the time to post. Our first flashback came early this month in Custer, SD…The Gordon Stockade.
In the summer of 1874, an expedition led by Lt. Colonel George A. Custer discovered gold in the Black Hills. Under the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, however, this region belonged to the Plains Indians, and white settlement was not allowed.
Twenty-eight people left Sioux City, Iowa in October of 1874 headed to the Black Hills in search of gold. They reached the Black Hills in December. Being in the Black Hills at that time was illegal, as it violated the Fort Laramie Treaty.
Upon their arrival, the Gordon Party built a log fortress on the bank of French Creek to protect themselves from possible Lakota attacks.
Annie Tallent is noted as being the first white woman to enter the Black Hills. She was an adventurous 47-year-old woman looking to strike it rich with her lawyer husband, David, and 9-year-old son.
Within five months, the stockade was discovered by the US Cavalry in 1875, and the party members were taken to Fort Laramie. They were not charged with any crimes and many of them ended up back in the Black Hills searching for gold. The Gordon Party's stay was short lived and not very profitable.
The Black Hills would never be the same. The expedition found gold in French Creek near the location of the Stockade Even though the findings were meager, news inflated the finds. Thus began the most famed gold rushes in American history.
Today's Gordon Stockade is the third replica built on the original site. The first was constructed by the citizens of Custer in 1925, and in 1941, the Civilian Conservation Corpsmen from Camp Narrows rebuilt the entire structure. Through the years, the outer walls and cabins weathered away until the park had to close the Stockade in the late 1990s due to visitor safety concerns.
Because the Stockade played a role in the history of the Black Hills, the park formed the an advisory committee to keep this historical landmark. Working together, the park and local advisory committee secured funding to once again reconstruct the Gordon Stockade.
Today, as you approach the Gordon Stockade, interpretive signs tell the story of this short lived illegal occupation in 1874 and 1875. The visit is free and open year round.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!