National Buffalo Museum – The Story of the American Bison

Jamestown, North Dakota.

A year ago in October, I published a couple of stories about a frontier village in Jamestown and a 60-ton statue that is the world’s largest buffalo sculpture. In recent weeks the frontier village came into some political controversy and the artifacts and buildings were almost given away to a similar pioneer museum in Perham, Minnesota. Fortunately for local fans of the village, the buildings and artifacts will remain in Jamestown as the City Council voted 3-2 to accept ownership of the village and its contents. The controversy started when the Frontier Village Association, owner of the artifacts, was in talks with the city to renew the land lease upon which the village is located. That dispute nearly closed down the attraction which would be a great loss to the community. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 27 October 2019

Oakes, North Dakota.

Last week, air crews and ground teams from North and South Dakota Civil Air Patrol were busy searching for a missing aircraft that departed Aberdeen late at night in less than perfect weather. An interview with a family member indicated that the pilot, alone in a Cessna 172 aircraft, might be headed for Oakes, North Dakota. The story had a sad ending as the aircraft wreckage was found about 7 miles north of Aberdeen, the pilot did not survive. That, however, is not what today’s Cellpic Sunday photo is about. Continue reading

Jamestown Kite Festival – A Quarter Century of Fun

Jamestown, North Dakota.

In late spring, several cities in North Dakota hold kite festivals. One of my Civil Air Patrol colleagues mentioned a kite fest held near Garrison. The Sky Fest Over Ft. Stevenson sounded like a great way to spend a Memorial Day weekend visiting an area of North Dakota I’d never seen. I made plans but as things go, a conflict came up that precluded our visit this year. The Sky Fest is North Dakota’s largest kite festival, so I will have to plan for a future visit. In the process of looking up information about kites and kite festivals, I discovered that Jamestown also has an annual kite festival. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 11 August 2019

Jamestown, North Dakota.

On a Civil Air Patrol activity a few weeks ago, I was flying in the right seat (just a passenger). Our first stop was at Jamestown. As we negotiated the landing pattern, I was snapping pics with my iPad Mini. You may recall a sunset view of the James River from last week. As we turned to our final approach, I spotted a train traveling through the lush, green countryside. Continue reading

But I Digress – Louis L’Amour, Favorite Son of Jamestown North Dakota

Jamestown, North Dakota.

One of the more interesting attractions in Jamestown’s Frontier Village (see last week’s Travel Tuesday post,) is the building known as Louis L’amour’s writing shack. The building has nothing to do with where he wrote as he left Jamestown as a teenager, but is instead an homage to his prolific writing. Born the last of seven children in the midwestern farming community of Jamestown, North Dakota, Louis spent the first fifteen years of his life there. Though he never finished high school, he was a self-educated man, for a short time a prize fighter, a hobo riding the American railroads, and eventually one of the most successful and prolific writers in the 20th century.  Continue reading

Frontier Village – A Drive Down Louis L’Amour Lane

Jamestown, North Dakota.

Over the years in our travels, we’ve stopped at recreated villages and historic towns in the old west from Goldfield and Tortilla Flat in Arizona to Deadwood, South Dakota and Cheyenne, Wyoming. North Dakota has a collection of villages that are great historic stops along the I-94 corridor. Bonanzaville in West Fargo focuses on the Bonanza farmers and homesteaders in the Red River Valley. Buckstop Junction in Bismarck highlights homesteaders and settlers put down roots in the Missouri River valley. Not to be left out, the largest community between Fargo and Bismarck has its own historic village. Continue reading

World’s Largest Buffalo – a 60-ton Giant in North Dakota

Jamestown, North Dakota.

Travel along the southern edge of our home state and unless you shun Interstates, you’ll find yourself on I-94. Crossing the Red River from Minnesota to North Dakota at Fargo, I-94 travels through Valley City, Jamestown, Bismarck, Dickinson and finally the small town of Beach where in just a few miles, it travels across the Montana border. Many years ago, we were westbound with the family and we noticed the giant buffalo on the southern edge of Jamestown. We pulled off the highway so our children could see the giant concrete sculpture. standing 26 feet (8 m) above the ground and high on a hill, it is an imposing work of art. Continue reading