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Cleaning up Fort Mandan

Posted on 8/2/2012

By Jennifer Joas, KFYR-TV

Lewis and Clark`s legacy is rich across North Dakota, even their dog Seaman gets some recognition. The Seaman statue was moved from Fort Mandan last year during the flood, but today volunteers helped to put it back in it`s rightful place.

Seaman is a very famous dog in North Dakota`s history.

"He was kind of an ambassador because when they saw that they had this dog with them, when the natives seen that they had the dog with them, it made them more comfortable with the guys. And he was a great help," said sculptor Tom Neary.

During last year`s flooding, Seaman was moved to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn. But today, volunteers from Great River Energy helped move the sculpture back to Fort Mandan.

"When we moved him it was quite exciting to move him up there and to see him up there with the other sculptures. It was kind of neat to see it that way. And now he`s come back to where he was meant to be I guess," Neary said.

But the fort had to move more than just the dog.

"It`s a big task to clean up after the flood. They had a lot of damage with trees, a lot of grass damage. They still have sand bags sitting around," said GRE Communications Specialist Rachel Retterath.

Volunteers helped clean up several hundred sand bags left from the flood, and also clean up the grounds at the fort.

"It`s going pretty good. It`s actually not as many as I thought. I thought there`d be a lot more. But it`s going really good. It`s been a good team effort," said volunteer Matthew Pierce.

"I`m feeling that this is going to look like a wow attraction like it is for North Dakota. This is one of the number one destinations tourists come to in North Dakota, and it`s right here in Washburn`s back yard," Retterath said.

Great River Energy had 35 volunteers in six different groups help clean up.

Neary also sculpted the other statues at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

View the video here.

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