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Fraine Barracks / Bismarck Indian School / Milwaukee Brewery

By | Last Modified: December 3, 2017

Fraine Barracks is the state headquarters for the North Dakota National Guard. It is located near the Missouri River, immediately south of Bismarck State College.

The site was originally home to Milwaukee Brewery, which shuttered in 1889 when North Dakota was admitted as a dry state.

The site later became home to the Bismarck Indian School (originally called Mandan Indian School), as required by an act of Congress in 1901. Five brick buildings were erected in 1907 for the boarding school, which was initially lead by Superintendent Davis of Boston. The school opened in 1908. At its peak, the school served up to 125 students each year.

The school closed temporarily in 1918, re-opening later that year. It became an all-girls school in 1922 before closing on June 30, 1937. Its students and superintendent were then transferred to Fort Yates on the Standing Rock Reservation.

Following a formal application by Governor Langer, the National Guard took possession in October 1937, originally with a temporary use permit granted by the Department of Interior. The land was deeded to the state in 1944. It was renamed Fraine Barracks in honor of the late Brigadier General John H. Fraine the following year, in 1945. Fraine was a long-time member of the Guard.

While many of the buildings on the site are the original 1907 structures, new buildings have been erected over the years.

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