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Havre of the Past: A grand party at Fort Assinniboine


December 20, 2013

Courtesy photo

This picture shows the field officer's quarters at Fort Buford, N.D., cited in the article. It operated from 1866 to 1895. The building is the site of Chief Sitting Bull's surrender. Very little remains of Fort Buford, but it is a well-interpreted site.

There was a mix-up with last week's article. It should have run this week! So, here is the article that should have been in last week's paper, celebrating the 49th installment of this series honoring Havre's 120th anniversary. My apologies to those who keep track.

The entries for this article come from the Dec. 7, 1893, issue of The Havre Advertiser. The most interesting comes from Fort Assinniboine, proving that not all in Havre was uncultured and unsophisticated. The article contains the original spelling errors.

Fort Assinniboine

The Twentieth Infantry

Enjoys the "Sound of

Revelry by Night."

FORT ASSINNIBOINE, MONT., December 6, 1893.

The most interesting and perhaps the most important social event of the season, was the grand ball given at the gymnasium hall Thanksgiving eve, by garrisons 6 and 21, Regular Army and Navy Union. All former events of a similar character were put in the shade by last evening's social gathering. The ball with hits various devices of ornamentation presented a scene imposing in the extreme. The walls on either side were so charmingly embellished with stars of bayonets and weapons of war, it is probably that Mars and Venus, had they been present, would have nodded in approval.

Over the doors and windows branches of holly and laurels were picturesquely entwined, and in the corner of the hall placed in comical form stood a rich variety of potted plants. The pillars supporting the ceiling were covered with golden cheese cloth, bunches of myrtle, and bright autumn leaves. Green, pink, and yellow streamers floated under dazzling chandeliers, causing a soft radiance to fall "o'er fair women and brave men."

Around the orchestra, which was partly screened by palms, hung fifty different colored lanterns, whose mellow light twinkled now and them like glittering gems. The national colors decorated the entrance to the ladies dressing room, and in close proximity stood two mahogany pedestals bearing the characters of both garrisons in handsome frames of black walnut.

The floor was in fine condition, and the music under the able leadership of Mr. G. Fuller was not to be surpassed. Neatly finished programmes presented a careful selection of fine dance music, and the man who was unpunctual had a very poor time of it. The grand march started about 9:20 p.m., and was led by Mr. J. Foulkrod and Mrs. Puckett, followed by fifty-four couples.

At midnight a substantial supper was served, after which the dancing began again with fresh vigor 'till the programme, including extras was quite exhausted, and the small hours began to develop fast.

The charm of the evening was, of course, due to the ladies, whose pretty costumes and bright faces were well set off by the gleaming surroundings. About 4 a.m., the night's pleasures were brought to a close by a Sir Roger de Coverly, or Virginia reel, in which all present joined.

Of course, fantastic little tidbits of useful information were found in the social pages.

City and State

The Glasgow Dramatte company played at the Windsor hotel on the 29th inst., to a crowded house.


Brigadier General Otis, now stationed at Fort Assinniboine, has been assigned to the department of the Columbia.

Of course, Mount Otis in the Bear Paw Mountains is named after Brigadier General Otis.

A. J. Broadwater returned from the Fort Buford country on Tuesday where he had been on a still hunt. As a result of his labors he brought back with him four large black-tail deer.

Fort Buford was located just across the Montana-North Dakota border, not far from Williston, and is a very interesting and educational place to visit. Fort Union is located not too far away, too, and is well worth the journey to check out.

Messrs. Tuhey & McNally have moved into their new quarters on upper Main street, where they will be pleased to have their many friends call on them in parties or alone. Newly made acquaintances will be welcome as old ones, and great pains will be taken to make the "Hub" the leading resort of the city.


George Morrow, of the "Populist" club rooms is busily engaged these days decorating the front windows of that famous resort, and when completed will serve as a gentle reminder that George still has confidence in Havre, and is not afraid to invest a few dollars to make it the leading resort in the city.


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