"Michigan Trails" Through "Chippewa County"

Ft. Brady History

Postcard Photo about 1920 Contributed by Paul Petosky

The United States government took its stand as the protector of the great gateway of marine commerce in 1822, since which time with only two interruptions, Fort Brady has been garrisoned by her regular soldiers. The old fort occupied what is now the site of the federal building and for years was protected against Indian attack by a high stockade. In the canal park, between the federal building and the river, is preserved the very ravine crossed by General Cass when he pulled down the last British flag on the soil of the United States.

Fort Brady now occupies a commanding site of seventy-five acres, in the southwestern part of the Soo and, from a splendid rise of ground, overlooking the city,t he river and allt he imposing sights and works of the region. It is one of the most modern and healthful posts in the U.S. and is in special favor with the government as a recuperative point for troops returning from the Philippines and the other enervating regions. The buildings of the present post were not all completed until 1895, although part of the officers quarters and barracks were so far finished in the fall of 1892 as to be occupied by troops. Company F, of the post, was the firt received - November 25, 1892, and three days later came the second company from Fort Mackinaw; the third from Detroit (Company D of the 19th Inf.) arrived Oct. 22, 1893. The post is now occupied by the second battalion, 26th U.S. Inf. with Major Durfee in commany. Estimated value of the building on the ground over $200,000.

The 26 acres upon which stood the original Fort Brady was ceded to the US by the Chippewas June 16, 1820, the locality having been selected by the French form ilitary purposes in 1750 when Chevalier Repentigny constructed a stockade at that locality. After the fall of Quebec the post was occupied by a small body of British Troops and after the treaty of peace with Great Britain the post was left un-occupied until American occupancy. In July 1822 General Brady wa directed to proceed thither with six companies of infantry and construct a stockade and barracks upon the land ceded by the treaty of 1820. He carried out his instructions and erected the buildings which have since been known as old Fort Brady. The post was occupied by US troops until 1857, when they were removed to Fort Snelling Minnesota and the property left in charge of an officer untilMay 8, 1866 when Ft. Brady was again garrisoned.

The old stockade and barracks were found in such dilapidated condition that their removal or restororation was ordered. The cost of improvements in 1849 was $4,000 and many thousands of dollars were expended in subseuent years in repairs and erection of new buildings. Up to the time of the transfer of the post to its present fine site, in 1895, the occupation of Ft. Brady by US troops was twice interrupted. First, duirng the Mexican war, when the regulars were withdrawn for service in the field and their place filled by a company of the First Michigan Inf. under Lt. E.K. Howard, which held the post until April 1848. From that time until June 1, 1849, the fort was untenanted. In consequence of the Minnesota Indian scare of 1857, the post was evacuated and the troops dispatched to Ft. Snelling, there being no garrison at Ft. Brady from that period until May 8, 1866. At that date Co D, 4th US Inf. arrived, since which the post has been occupied continuously.

From The Northern Peninsula of Michigan 1911 by Alvah L. Sawyer

Ft. Brady CCC Camps 1930's

Ft. Brady 1940's

Old Ft. Brady Brochure

Contributed by Paul Petosky