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Fort Mandan to celebrate 40th anniversary

Posted on 6/27/2012

By The Williston Herald

On Sunday, the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the reconstruction of Fort Mandan, by honoring the members of the McLean County Historical Society.

The Society was responsible for reconstructing Fort Mandan, conducting research in 1969, and completing the structure in 1972. They also provided historical interpretation of the site until turning it over to the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation in 1997.

"The McLean County Historical Society members are the pioneers responsible for bringing the Lewis & Clark story to Washburn," said David Borlaug, president of the Foundation. "We're still here telling this story because of the vision they had over forty years ago."

Borlaug and Foundation Interpretive Resource Manager Kevin Kirkey will present, "Fort Mandan: Our Special Place," at the Headwaters Fort Mandan Visitor Center at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The program will recount the history of Fort Mandan's reconstruction and honor the historical society members who worked on the project. The Foundation is offering free admission at Fort Mandan from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

For Borlaug, the anniversary is an interesting personal milestone because he reported on the reconstruction for his family's weekly newspaper, The Washburn Leader.

"I had no idea at the time what a huge part of my life Fort Mandan was going be," Borlaug said.

Fort Mandan and the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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