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In 1899, when famous arctic explorer Robert Peary reached Ellesmere Island, in Canada, he found the ruins of a hut erected by a previous arctic expedition in the island’s northeastern shore. The hut was a three-room building built with long, wooden boards, and covered with tar paper, but such type of construction was notoriously difficult to keep warm during the freezing polar winters. Peary found the building utterly unfit for habitation, and so he had the building torn down and rebuilt several smaller quarters in its place. For the next thirty years, Peary’s huts—named Fort Conger—played an important role in several high arctic expeditions.

The original Fort Conger was built in 1881 by explorers of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition led by Lt. Adolphus Greely of the Fifth United States Cavalry. The crew was dropped on the island by the ship Proteus on August 11, 1881, with ample food and fuel to survive and explore comfortably for a year or so.

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The remaining buildings of Fort Conger. Photo credit: JeffAmantea/Flickr

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© Amusing Planet, 2017.


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