Sam Brown Log House

Sam Brown Log House (HM1RSQ)

Location: Browns Valley, MN 56219 Traverse County
Country: United States of America

N 45° 35.732', W 96° 50.452'

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A Quiet Witness to Military and Prairie Life

— Sam Brown - Remembered for his Epic Ride —

A Quiet Witness to Military and Prairie Life
This log structure was first used as a meeting place and general headquarters for scouts employed by the U.S. Army at Fort Wadsworth, Dakota Territory, following the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862.
During its early history it sheltered people from summer rains and winter storms. It was from this building that Samuel J. Brown began the terrible ride that left him permanently disabled. Sam Brown's uncle, Gabriel Renville, respected chief of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Indians, passed away in this house on August 26, 1892. Even James J. Hill traded furs in this building, years before he became a railroad tycoon.
This log house originally stood on the shore of Kettle Lake, about a mile east of Fort Wadsworth (now called Fort Sisseton), 40 miles west of here. Indians and scouts under the direction of Major Joseph R. Brown constructed it. It is made entirely of hand-hewn oak logs that were harvested in 1863 from the shores of Kettle Lake in South Dakota.
In the summer of 1866, with the service of the scouts no longer needed by the military and after the close of Fort Wadsworth, Joseph R. Brown bought this house. He had it dismantled and transported by ox carts to an area just east of the Little Minnesota River called Lake Traverse. There it was reconstructed into its original configuration. While at that location it was used as a residence, trading post, stage stop, boarding house and post office.
In 1871 it was again dismantled and reconstructed on this site. Samuel J. Brown and his wife Phoebe Brown lived and ran the post office in here until 1896.

Sam Brown - Remembered for his Epic Ride

As a young man, Sam Brown served as post interpreter, scout, chief of scouts, and inspector of scouts in the "frontier scout force" for he U.S. Government as Fort Wadsworth (later renamed Fort Sisseton) in the Dakota Territory (now South Dakota) from late 1862 until early 1866.
Sam Brown is most remembered for his epic ride the night of April 19. 1866 (which he later called a "wild-goose chase") when he rode on horseback from Fort Wadsworth 55 miles west to Elm River to warn other scouts and settlers of what was thought to be an impending Indian attack. He rode some five hours only to find the report to be false. He started back immediately on a fresh horse in an attempt to intercept a letter of warning he had written to U.S. Army Headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota, previous to starting his ride west. On his return he was caught in a spring blizzard and lost his way. He made it back to the fort on the morning of April 20 in time to stop the letter, but as a result of his ride he suffered permanent disabling injuried and was confined to a wheelchair the rest of his life.
From his father Joseph R. Brown and his service as a scout, Sam Brown learned to understand the difficulties the Dakota people were having adjusting to a new way of life. Later in his life, he tried to right some of the many wrongs perpetrated by the government in its dealings with the Indians.
Sam Brown was 80 years old when he died on August 29. 1925 in Browns Valley. He is buried alongside his wife and infant son in the Plateau Cemetery in Browns Valley.
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 at 9:05am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14T E 668399 N 5051377
Decimal Degrees45.59553333, -96.84086667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 45° 35.732', W 96° 50.452'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds45° 35' 43.92" N, 96° 50' 27.12" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)320, 605
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 714-798 Co Hwy 106, Browns Valley MN 56219, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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