Fort Buford is an amazing place. And it becomes even more special when visitors learn why there is a horse statue at the Fort. Some would say it’s haunted. Click here to read.
Fort Buford figures in throughout the history of America. For example, explorers camped at the site in the early 1800s. That includes Lewis and Clark who highlighted the area before it became a fort. It became a popular meeting spot because it is the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. So, to travelers 150 years ago, it was like a major Interstate Highway intersection.
The Fort was built at the end of the Civil War. It had a number of “Galvanized” soldiers, those who had been Confederate soldiers but agreed to serve at posts such as Fort Buford. They were joined by regular Union Soldiers and of special note, Buffalo Soldiers. Click here to read more about Fort Buford’s Buffalo Soldiers.
The horse statue is a tribute to the Buffalo Soldiers. The term “buffalo soldier” was a term of respect. Native Americans reportedly named black-haired, dark-skinned soldiers “buffalo soldiers” because they reminded them of their sacred buffalo.
Montana sculptor Jim Dolan designed and built the horse sculpture and named it “Our Work is Done.” It was erected in a celebration in 2016. The Williston Herald wrote about the dedication. Click to read.
The site belongs to the Masons. In 1891, they segregated lodges based on race. That’s why two lodges stood here at Fort Buford, one for the Buffalo soldiers and one for white soldiers. The horse stands at one lodge and looks toward the second lodge of the Buffalo Soldiers.
Fort Buford is a popular tourist destination with both visitors and locals. They come here to use the walking trails, boat ramps, camp area, museum and, of course the tribute to the Buffalo Soldiers. It becomes part of a 0ne-of-a-kind road trip because just down the road is Fort Union, a rebuilt American Fur Company trading post. Click here to read about Fort Union.
A road trip to Fort Buford, the Missouri and Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center and nearby Fort Union will give you a new perspective of history and this region.