• 1874 Cavalry Barracks

    Fort Laramie

    National Historic Site Wyoming

Frequently Asked Questions

When was FortLaramie established and what years was it in operation?

1834 -1890. Fort Laramie was first established as a private fur trading post in 1834. Officially, this first Fort Laramie was named “Fort William” in honor of its founder William Sublette. Fort William was replaced in 1841 by the second Fort Laramie, which was named “Fort John” and also served as a private trading post. Fort John was purchased by the military in 1849 and officially was renamed “Fort Laramie.” Fort Laramie continued in operation until 1890 when it was abandoned.

Did Fort Laramie have a wall surrounding it?

Yes and No. The original posts Fort William (1834-1841) and Fort John (1841-1849) did have walls around them the former was made of cottonwood logs and the latter was an adobe walled post. These forts were very small and the walls were used as protection against the theft of property more than against attack by Native Americans. Fort Laramie (1849-1890) did not have a wall. The post was simply too large and lumber to scarce to build a wall of the length required. The early plan was to construct a stone wall around the fort but the idea was discarded after the cost estimate for construction was $50,000 (in 1850 that was a rather large chunk of change). The overriding factor was simply that it was not needed. The Northern Plains tribes simply avoided attacking a well-armed military posts.

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