A recent fundraising event held at the Upper Missouri Valley Fairgrounds showcased the rich military history of the area by featuring a variety of memorabilia from all eras.
The show displayed an assortment of different military uniforms, weapons and unique one of a kind items. The items on display and for sale came from many periods, ranging from 1865 to the present.
The event was more than just a show or swap meet, though.
“Proceeds will be used for programs at Fort Buford and for furnishings in the barracks, and secondly it was to get different military collectors to come together and share with the public the history that’s involved in these materials,” Tom Wilder, a member of the Fort Buford 6th Infantry Regimental Association, said. “It’s a good place for someone who’s interested in military history, they can come in and maybe find something they’ve been looking for or they can see things that they might not otherwise see.”
Located near the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers, Fort Buford State Historic Site is one of the great cultural gems within the Bakken region. Originally established as a military outpost to protect trade routes along the river, Fort Buford has become a popular attraction to the area, in part because of the presence of the Fort Buford 6th Infantry Regimental Association, a group of individuals who re-enact and portray the lives of soldiers living at the fort in the 1870s.
“We do this to teach people, to tell the story about Fort Buford and the confluence region, which also involves Fort Union as well,” Ben Gjorven, president of the 6th Infantry, said.
For those interested in military history, there are other events coming up in the next few months.
On May 19, the 6th Infantry will kick off the summer with their annual flag raising ceremony at Fort Buford. This is a family-friendly event that allows the public to take a glimpse into military protocol from the late 1800s.
The third weekend in July is another popular annual event out at Fort Burford, the 6th Infantry Encampment. Military re-enactors appear in period dress and take part in living history programs, showing guests how the soldiers of the time lived and worked out at the fort.
For the history buffs interested in learning more about Fort Buford, the 6th Infantry or any of the great events the fort has to offer, Gjorven said the best way to contact them is via the 6th Infantry Regimental Association Facebook page, by calling 701-770-8143 or by contacting Kerry Finsaas, site supervisor at Fort Buford Historic Site at 701-572-9033.
Gjorven said the 6th Infantry has a lot to offer anyone who loves history.
“You don’t just have to be interested in the Indian Wars history,” he said. “You can be interested in World War II, World War I, Vietnam or wherever else. If you have any interest in history at all, please join.”