[Devils Lake, D.T. Bratlee & Berg, Photographers. @, 1880]. 8.5" x 5.25", oblong. Photographic print on original cardboard mount. Very light pencil markings on photograph [do not obscure details of photograph]. Corners chipped and worn. A bit age toned. On cardboard mount a rubberstamp reading: 'Bratlee & Berg, Photographers, Views of Devils Lake and Vicinity a specialty. Negatives Preserved for Future Orders. Devils Lake, D.T.' Good+.
The picture shows young boys standing in front of a building with five men to their right and several women standing on a second level porch. The boys and several of the women appear to be of American Indian descent, while the men and the other women appear to be Caucasian.
This picture likely depicts the Fort Totten Indian School: the photographers who took the picture specialized in views of the Devils Lake area where this school was located; the boys appear to be American Indians; and several of the Caucasian women are adorned with large crosses. The Fort Totten Indian School was started by Major Forbes about 1872. He secured teachers with the help of the Catholic Bureau and directed the Indians to build a small school house, which they did about seven miles east of the Fort. This was known as St. Michaels Mission. In 1874, Major Forbes along with a priest, several nuns and others, moved to the Fort and apparently began teaching at the Fort. In 1890 the entire Fort was turned over to the Department of the Interior, and the Indian School and Mission School were combined and known as the Indian Industrial School. Item #21583