Fort Laramie National Historic Site

  • Entrance sign at Fort Laramie National Historic Site

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Fort Laramie Information

Established as a fur trading fort in 1834, Fort Laramie evolved into the largest and best known military post on the Northern Plains before its abandonment.

This unique historic place preserves and interprets one of America's most important locations in the history of westward expansion and Indian resistance. In 1834, where the Cheyenne and Arapaho travelled, traded and hunted, a fur trading post was created. Soon to be known as Fort Laramie, it rested at a location that would quickly prove to be the path of least resistance across a continent. By the 1840s, wagon trains rested and resupplied here, bound for Oregon, California and Utah.

In 1849 as the Gold Rush of California drew more westward, Fort Laramie became a military post, and for the next 41 years, would shape major events as the struggle between two cultures for domination of the northern plains increased into conflict. In 1876, Fort Laramie served as an anchor for military operations, communication, supply, and logistics during the "Great Sioux War." Fort Laramie closed, along with the frontier it helped shape and influence, in 1890.

 

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