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Video title:

Life in the Early 1800s

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October 10 2017

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Mr. Beat goes back in time, to the 1820s and the Nebraska frontier at Fort Atkinson. Today, the fort is one of the best preserved in the United States, and the historical reenactors continue to keep its history alive. Check out the Friends of Fort Atkinson here: Want a specific history topic covered? Your idea gets picked when you donate on Patreon: Mr. Beat's band: Mr. Beat on Twitter: Produced by Matt Beat. All images found in the public domain or used under fair use guidelines. Music by Electric Needle Room (Matt Beat). I recently had an opportunity to go back in time. Specifically, to the early 1800s and the Nebraska frontier. Every year, the Washington County Historical Association hosts a 2-day event called Heritage Days at Fort Atkinson State Historical Park. The event celebrates the history of the early settlement days of Nebraska through hands-on learning demonstrations, traditional foods, and historical re-enactment, aka “living history.” Fort Atkinson was the first United States military post west of the Missouri River. The U.S. chose the location for the fort based on the recommendation of explorer William Clark. Yes, he was the Clark of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition. Clark had wrote down in his journal that the area would be perfect for a military post. The U.S. established Fort Atkinson in 1820. It was extremely important to the early fur trade, for river transportation west, and for Native American relations. At the fort’s peak, almost a quarter of the country’s standing army resided there. However, the U.S. government abandoned the fort in 1827, just seven years after it opened. The Army had opened up a new fort further south called Fort Leavenworth, and it shifted its resources there, so it didn’t need Fort Atkinson anymore. Fort Leavenworth, by the way, still exists today and continues to be an important military installation. Meanwhile, farmers had taken over the area that used to be Fort Atkinson. Flash forward to 1961, and the locals began a huge push to preserve and restore the area. Soon after, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission bought the land and, during a period of around 20 years, completed reconstructed the fort. Today, the place is one of the best kept historical parks in the country. If you really want to get a feel for what life was truly like in the early 1800s in America, I strongly recommend you check out Fort Atkinson State Historical Park.

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