Visited 19 May 2010 – We took a day trip from our KOA camp in Butte to visit Fort William Henry Harrison in Helena Montana. Fort Harrison was established in 1895, it had a short life as a U.S. Army post and was abandoned by the Army in 1913. The Public Health Service took it over in 1919 and the Veterans Administration inherited it in 1922. Today, it is a growing VA facility.
When you first drive on the grounds it is difficult to figure out where the old post was, if you drive all the way to the back you will quickly figure it out. On the right side across the back is a row of NCO quarters and on the left is what is left of Officer’s row and between them is the parade ground with what looks like the old hospital building at the end. All of the remaining fort buildings have been repurposed and adapted for VA use as residences or for administrative use.
The barracks once stood on the right hand side of the parade ground but they have been replaced by a variety of medical facilities old and new. The Officer’s quarters include the commanders quarters and three duplex quarters. The six NCO quarters include a mix of singles and duplexes. All of the buildings show signs of age and modification but are still identifiable.
On the northeast side of the old post is the New Fort William Henry Harrison which houses Montana National Guard and Reserve units. There is a museum on the new post but it is only open on thursdays. We didn’t attempt to document the new post.
We finished up with Fort Harrison pretty quickly and decided to move on to Fort Logan. Fort Logan was established in 1869 to provide protection for miners and settlers in the Smith River Valley of central Montana. It was garrisoned until 1880. The Fort is located on private property about 20 miles west of White Sulpher Springs on Hwy 360. The fort’s blockhouse is the only visible remaining building and the property owner has made great provisions for viewing of the blockhouse. Two flags were flying on the day of our visit and it was a great sight.
Posted under Forts
This post was written by JohnStanton on May 22, 2010