Between April and November of 1867, quarrymen, stonemasons, carpenters,
and laborers from nearby settlements worked together to construct
the fort under the direction of Ira Hinckley who was the superintendent
of the construction. They took pride in their work and built this
structure to last.
The bunkhouse was used to provide a place for the hired hands
to sleep. It was a one room building, but it also contained a
table, washstand, and washbasin. The hired hands were responsible
for taking care of the horses, milk cows, and beef herds.
The wagon was called a family or prairie wagon. There were no
roads, bridges or ferries, just raw natural country that only
this type of a vehicle could be used on. Because of its small
size, you were only permitted life supporting essentials like
a plow, shovels, axes and basic construction tools. For the family,
cookware dishes, eating and cooking utensils, blankets, work clothes,
and mother's rocking chair. Food: 250 to 300 lbs of cracked wheat
flour-12 to 18 months supply, 200 to 300 lbs of seed grains like
wheat, oats, corn, and plus garden seed. The wagon would carry
1000 to 1200 lbs of necessary weight. Only a rocking chair, a
medium trunk for important papers, scriptures and necessary books
were allowed. The wagon was pulled by flesh and blood not a gas
engine, so the heavier you loaded this outfit the faster their
grass tanks went empty.
Fort Barn: The barn is a replica of the original barn
which is basically in the same location. The barn is 60' x 60'
by 30' high. There are 13 horse stalls to accommodate 26 horses.
Many of the horses were owned by the stagecoach company which
used 8 to 12 horses a day depending on the shape of the roads.
These fresh horses replaced the tired ones when the coach pulled
up in front of the Fort twice a day.
Ira Hinckley was an accomplished blacksmith. The bellows in the
blacksmith shop are thought to be the original.