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Living History

Black Powder Shooting & Tomahawk Throws

Saturday and Sunday the rendezvous traders and campers will compete in black powder shoots and Tomahawk throws.

Shoot Schedule (Subject to change)

Aggregate shoot starts 1 p.m. Friday/Ends Sat 1 p.m.
1 - 2 p.m. Gong Shoot 
2 - 3 p.m. Paper Shoot 
3 - 4 p.m. Bunny Shoot 
4 - 5 p.m. Silhouette Shoot

9 - 10 a.m. Feather Shoot & Turtle Shoot
10 - 11 a.m. Birthday Party Shoot 
11 - 12 p.m. Team Shoot (Timed) 
12 - 1 p.m. High/Low Shoot 
1 - 2 p.m. Shotgun Shoot 
5 p.m. Hawk & Knife Throw - $2 (all ages)

9 a.m. Buckskinner Church Service 
10 - 11 a.m. Cut the Post Shoot 
11 - 12 p.m. Partner Challenge 
12 - 1 p.m. Candy Shoot 
1 - 2 p.m. Pistol Shoot 
*Aggregate includes: Bottles, Clays, Potatoes, Paper Plate and Poker Chips


Rendezous is a gathering where furs and and supplies were traded during the 1800s. The Brookings Muzzleloaders and traders from near and far take visitors back to this thrilling era. Stop by the camp, located at the far east side of the grounds, and hear tall tales of adventure, watch traders show off their mountaineering skills, and bargain for kettles, pelts, or knives.

Frontier Army

Help welcome the Frontier Army of the Dakota to Fort Sisseton. The military encampment is the result of the committed dedication and effort from re-enactors from across the heartland. Walk through the authentic military camp; watch the saber drills and foot-soldering. Located on the green, north of the North Barracks, this group welcomes questions and visitors. Gatling gun and cannon firing demonstrations will be done at the shooting range.

Please check out the following military events:

Saturday, June 8
9:15 – 9:30 a.m. - Flag Raising Ceremony, Parade Ground
9:30-10:30 a.m. - Military Practice, Parade Ground
1-2 p.m. - Cavalry and Infantry Drills, Parade Ground
1-3 p.m. - First Person Interpretation in COQ, Hospital and Dr. Residence
2-3 p.m. - Saber and Watermelon Drills, North of Military Encampment
3:30 p.m. - Military Shoot, Shooting Range
4 p.m. - Sidesaddle Demonstration, By Visitor Center
4 p.m. - Dutch oven Pie Baking Contest Judging, Military Encampment
4:30 p.m. - Cannon, Gatlin Gun Demo, Shooting Range
6:30-6:45 p.m. - Flag Lowering Ceremony, Parade Ground

Sunday, June 9
8-9 a.m. - Military Worship Service, Military Camp
9:15-9:30 a.m. - Flag Raising Ceremony, Parade Ground
9:30-10:30 a.m. - Military Practice, Parade Ground
1-2 p.m. - Cavalry and Infantry Drills, Parade Ground
1-3 p.m. First Person Interpretation COQ, Dr. Residence, and Hospital
2 p.m. - Frontier Fashion Show, South Barracks
2:30 p.m. - Cannon, Gatlin Gun Demo, Shooting Range

Blacksmith and Carpenter Shops

The blacksmith and carpenter will be demonstrating their trade on Saturday and Sunday. Stop by their shops and lend a hand in turning your own rope.

Swanson Cowboyography

Bringing to life the lore and lure of the American Cowboy in photos, song, and demonstrations of the equipment Cowboys use.  At the living history area, folks not only get to hear about and look at Cowboy things, but to actually touch, try on and try out REAL Cowboy gear saddles and blankets and bits and equipment that was used on the range...real tents, bedrolls, chaps, vests, scarves. They teach how to spin a rope, lasso a roping dummy and crack a whip, as well as bake up some great biscuits!

Gold and Gemstones! Fort Mining Sluice

Soldiers at Fort Sisseton were responsible for escorting wagon trains west. These men and women were in search of gold in Montana and Idaho. Discover fossils, arrowheads, and even your own "lucky strike" at the Mining Sluice. This interactive and hands on learning experience, is open to all ages Friday 1-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pick your mining rough, pour into the mining box, and watch as the water streams over the rough. The more you submerge your mining box through the cascading water, the faster you'll find your gemstones, fossils or arrowheads.

DC Rambow - Old Time Photography

Dave Rambow is among a very few people in the United States who regularly use the authentic "Wet plate" photographic technique (which went out-of-style in the 1880s) to produce fine art ambrotypes and tintypes. Some of his recent projects include:On-screen tintype photography for Paramount motion Picture feature True Grit (release date December 2010); Dreamworks/Imagine Pictures feature Cowboys and Aliens (release date July 2011). Tintype photos for the motion picture Sweetwater. (release date February 2013).

Abraham Lincoln

In 1862, when Fort Sisseton was established, President Abraham Lincoln was the Commander and Chief.  A man of character, honesty and compassion... Lee Williams brings these qualities to life as he portrays Abraham Lincoln. Get a glimpse of our past and gain hope for the future.

Chuck Wagon Cook-off

The Fort is not unfamiliar with the necessities of this rolling vestige of the American West...more than one cattle drive rambled through this area delivering 'dinner on the hoof' - and those cattle drives often came with their own 'diners' or chuck wagons. This will be the second Chuck Wagons will cook and compete amidst all the other incredible Festival activities.

Throughout the weekend the Chuck Wagon Camps will be open to the public, and Saturday afternoon they will be busy competing in the cook-off competition. Wagons will cook up a complete five course meal vying for $3,000 in cash and prizes. The Chuck Wagon themselves are judged as well for their historical correctness. This competition is open to any and all chuck wagons in the area. Get that wagon geared up, and show it off at this years event, or just come to step back in time, and relive and share some of America's most fascinating history with your family this summer...mosey down to the Chuck Wagons and enjoy a real cowboy style meal by the campfire at around 6 p.m. on Saturday. For more information please contact Fort Sisseton State Park, 605.448.5474.