The Black Viking – Fort Ransom’s Unique Roadside Attraction

Fort Ransom, North Dakota.

Just outside the small town of Fort Ransom, North Dakota is a unique hill. The town of some 75 or so residents is situated near a hill that is almost (but not quite) a perfect pyramid. Geologists believe the hill, like many others in the region, is the result of glacial action and erosion. However, it is not strewn with boulders or rocks, something unique compared to the other glacial hills throughout the region. Many locals believe the pyramid is a Native American burial pyramid about 100 feet (30 m) tall and 5000 years or greater years old. As of this writing, you can take your pick on what you believe. The link here features a video of the controversy and of the discovery of a stone with ancient markings that resemble a musical scale merged with a primitive “Morse Code.” The code has never been deciphered, so it adds to the mystery of Pyramid Hill.

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Fort Ransom State Park – Homesteading Heritage

Fort Ransom, North Dakota.

Last summer, I featured here a journey along one of the nation’s Scenic Byways, the Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway. Though the series of posts ran for a few Travel Tuesdays, I left out a few scenic points. Today’s Travel Tuesday picks up three of these byway stops along the Sheyenne River south of Valley City North Dakota. Fort Ransom was a military outpost active between 1867 and 1872. The short-lived fort protected a trail used by homesteaders and railroad builders in the area between Bismarck and Fargo.  Continue reading

Houses of Worship – Country Churches in the Valley

Sheyenne Valley Scenic Byway.

The history of our country is closely tied to the religious beliefs of our ancestors. The country church in the opening photo is the Preston Lutheran Church. About four miles (6 km) north of the town of Fort Ransom, the church is located at the townsite of what was Preston, ND. As you can see in the photo, on the Sunday morning of our visit, the church congregation is still active. Continue reading