Last updated: 11/30/2011
Bismarck, North Dakota
Street Address
101 East Main Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58501
Mailing Address
612 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58501
May 16th - September 15th.
Sunday, Friday - Saturday1 PM - 5 PM
Other times by appointment.
Johnathan Campbell, Site Supervisor
phone: 701-471-3677

Located at 101East Main Ave., Bismarck, this site preserves part of a military installation established as Camp Greeley in 1872 to provide protection for work gangs then building the Northern Pacific Railroad. The camp's name was changed to Camp Hancock in 1873. A log headquarters building still stands on the site; it has been enlarged and remodeled several times, and the logs have been concealed by clapboard siding. The building serves as an interpretive museum for artifacts and information about local history.

The Four Seasons at Camp Hancock

This exhibit looks at the history of the site through the seasons. The oldest building in Bismarck, this is the only structure remaining from the U.S. Army infantry post stationed here from 1872 to 1877. After it was decommissioned, it served as the U.S. Weather Bureau Station for the region from 1894 to 1939.

Facility Rental

Unique setting. Located on the state's capitol grounds. Available for meetings, lectures, receptions, and dinners.

Facilities are available for rental seven days per week, between 7 a.m. and 11p.m. For functions that occur outside of the museum's normal hours of business, an additional $50 per hour fee will be charged. Reservations may be made as early as 90 days in advance.

Weddings and Recitals

Bread of Life church available for weddings and recitals. Limited electrical, no heat or cooling. Pew sitting for approximately 80 people. $35.00 an hour. Maximum of 6 hours

Heritage Volunteers

Heritage Volunteers represent a broad spectrum of society in terms of work experience, age (14 to 95), education, and ability. All volunteer work is important; every effort is made to coordinate volunteer skills and interests with needs of the State Historical Society. Volunteers are provided with orientation and on-the-job training, as well as the opportunity to participate in the volunteer study group, field trips, and various other programs.


The purpose of the post was to protect supplies, equipment, and engineering crews of the Northern Pacific Railroad, as well as the citizens of Edwinton, which was renamed Bismarck in July 1873. By 1883 the post was also serving as a storage station for the U.S. Army quartermaster's supplies, which would be shipped, by rail, wagon, or steamboat, to posts along the river and farther west.


United States Army Occupation (August 8, 1872 ‑ April 16, 1894)
Camp Hancock was the location of an infantry post from 1872 to 1877 and a quartermaster depot and signal office from 1877 to 1894. The post was originally named Camp Greeley in 1872 in honor of Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Times, liberal candidate for the presidency, and author of the saying "Go west, young man." On October 7, 1873, the post was renamed Camp Hancock after the commander of the Department of Dakota, George Winfield Hancock.

A Signal Corps "reporting station" was established at Camp Hancock in 1874. The primary mission of the Signal Corps was to transmit military messages; they also maintained records of the nation's weather patterns. With the fighting between the plains tribes and the military, for the most part under control, the last of the front‑line troops were withdrawn from Camp Hancock on April 12, 1877. The post continued to function as a quartermaster's depot and signal station, which required only a small staff of technical specialists.

United States Weather Bureau (1894 ‑ 1940)
United States Soil Conservation Service (1940 ‑ 1949)
State Historical Society of North Dakota (May 1951 ‑ present)


State of North Dakota


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Established in 1996, iondesign is an award winning design firm that has developed a niche in producing interpretive exhibits for sites nationwide. We are positioned to help clients communicate brand value and interpret history to engage visitors. We bring together a team of high-level professionals for every project to create a strategic partnership with you to support your mission.

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