After Custer’s defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the U.S. Army built eight new forts on the Northern Plains to solidify its control over the region. These included Fort Assiniboine, designated to guard the border from Sitting Bull’s followers, who had withdrawn to Canada after the Great Sioux War. When the Army closed Fort Assiniboine in 1911, 58,000 acres of fort land became part of Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. Another 9,000 acres became Beaver Creek County Park—first called Assiniboine National Park, then Beaver Creek Playground. Before the county assumed management in 1953, the City of Havre oversaw the park. Without adequate funds for maintenance and development, it turned to the Havre Chamber of Commerce and the local Kiwanis Club for assistance. Under the supervision of local builder and active Kiwanis member Chris Fuglevand, volunteers constructed this log-and-frame meeting hall in 1933. Made of log slabs, assembled vertically to simulate a post-and-beam log cabin, the Rustic style lodge was part of Camp Kiwanis, “a camp for underprivileged children.” It was the first permanent building in the park. Characterized by the use of crudely worked native materials, the Rustic style reflected romanticism about nature and the western frontier. The style of choice for buildings associated with outdoor recreation, its intentional lack of sophistication made it well-suited for a project assembled by unskilled volunteers. The Kiwanis Club dedicated the building on June 23, 1933, with a celebratory dinner and dance. The first children attended camp a week later. In 1937, the Kiwanis converted the hall into a non-denominational chapel.

Images

Map

17863 Beaver Creek Road, Havre, Montana ~ Public