The Mission of the Foundation has always been to take an active role in tourism promotion and development in North Dakota.
Forty years after local settlers dismantled Fort Lincoln for wood and nails, the federal Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) came to restore that important piece of history. From 1934-38, the CCC built blockhouses and earthlodges, fieldstone buildings and palisades, and considered but did not rebuild the Custer House. In the 1950s, a local group of historians and business people tried again, but failed. The idea didn’t go away.
In 1982, in the old Lewis and Clark Hotel in Mandan, the Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation was formed. Its mission was to promote and manage the reconstruction, development and promotion of Fort Abraham Lincoln and other state parks and historic sites in North Dakota. By 1989, they opened the doors to the reconstructed Custer House, with the uniformed 7th Cavalry troopers guiding visitors on a time-trip to 1875.
At 30 years of age, the foundation is a publicly supported, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions. After restoring the last home of George and Libbie Custer; the foundation rebuilt the Commissary, Granary, Central Barracks and Mess Hall, and a 7th Cavalry Stable. The Foundation developed the region’s finest living history interpretive program for Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. It also completely restored six Mandan Indian earthlodges and part of the village palisade. The foundation filled the lodges with furnishings and displays related to the lifestyles of the Mandan Indians at On-a-Slant Village. A beautiful new cedar bridge was built, making the village handicapped accessible. Most recently, in June 2006, the foundation unveiled the new Mandan Wing in the park Visitor Center.