Built in 1867 to protect travelers headed west, the army post here is preserved today as the Fort Fetterman State Historic Site. Although the fort was never very large and had difficulty keeping its soldiers from deserting, its location on the fringes of the Great Sioux Indian Reservation made it an important outpost of civilization on the Western frontier. After white settlers overran the Black Hills and the government did away with the reservation, soldiers from here
helped end armed Plains Indian resistance—and thus put an end to the fort's usefulness. Two buildings, the ordnance warehouse and officers' quarters, survived decades of abandonment and today house interpretive exhibits and artifacts related to the area's history and the fort's role in settling the West. The remains of other fort buildings can still be seen, as can the ruins of Fetterman City, which died out when Douglas was founded several miles to the south.