Guardhouse (HM2N1O)

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N 48° 29.91', W 109° 47.866'

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Fort Assinniboine

With its graceful dormer and full-length front porch supported by Tuscan columns, the front of this one-story, hipped-roof building looks like an attractive and comfortable residence. The back of the building, with its small, arched barred windows and nineteen-inch-thick exterior walls, reveals its true purpose: to house the fort's prisoners. Completed in 1905 by contractors Frank Coombs and Duncan Brothers of Great Falls for $23,555, this well-detailed, state-of-the-art building replaced a smaller guard house. Its large cellblock could hold up to fifty prisoners, usually serving thirty-day sentences for such crimes as drunken behavior, insubordination, and going AWOL (absent without leave). During the day, the prisoners worked outside in chain gangs. At night they slept on the floor: the guardhouse did not provide beds or mattresses, but prisoners were permitted to bring blankets. When the fort closed, the Army donated the guardhouse to Havre for a jail. Distance made transporting the building impractical, but the city did recycle the cell bars, only to return them years later after construction of Havre's current correctional facility.
HM NumberHM2N1O
Placed ByMontana Historical Society; Department of the Interior, National Register of Historic Places
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 at 10:01am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12U E 588813 N 5372406
Decimal Degrees48.49850000, -109.79776667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 48° 29.91', W 109° 47.866'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds48° 29' 54.6" N, 109° 47' 51.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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