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Archaeologists visit Fort Juelson

Visitors to an informational sign at Fort Juelson, east of Underwood, now have a shelter from the sun and rain. Archaeological group excavation and data collection was held at the site in recent days. Tom Hintgen/FOCUS

Archaeologists visited Fort Juelson, east of Underwood, from July 16-18 to excavate and collect historical data.  The collected data will lead to a site nomination on the National Register of Historic Places.

In January 2012, the Otter Tail County Historical Society was awarded a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grant to conduct an archaeological evaluation of the fort site. The public was invited to observe staff from Archaeo-Physics, LLC, as they conducted test excavations to identify any buried resources that pre-date the fort.

Fort Juelson was constructed in the summer of 1876 by a group of Tordenskjold Township farmers in response to reports of marauding bands of Indians. While many pioneers left their homesteads for the protection of a town, the Tordenskjold group decided to stay and protect their properties.

Interpretive signs are in place at Fort Juelson, a flag is lit during nighttime hours, split rail fencing is positioned and there's a restored gateway where visitors begin their walk to the top of the hill.

The restored Fort Juelson site is located north of Highway 210, west of Battle Lake and about two miles east of Underwood.