Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Camp Hancock

I was  asking John just this morning how the city of Bismarck got its name, and at our first stop for the day I received an answer to that question. At this historical site sits a 1909 Northern Pacific Locomotive. The interpretive sign there notes that the town was established in 1872 and at that time was called Edwinton.  It was given that name to honor Edwin L. Johnson,  Chief Engineer of the Northern Pacific Railroad. A year later the town was renamed Bismarck after Chancellor Bismarck of Germany. It was an attempt by the town to attract German investors to the region to spur railroad construction by Northern Pacific. Camp Hancock was the location of a United States infantry post from 1872-1877. The purpose of the post was to protect railroad supplies, equipment and engineering crews of the railroad. At this historical site Bread of Life Episcopal Church is located.  Here the first " non-Roman church service"  for Bismarck was held in 1873.
We returned to the capitol grounds for the afternoon. Near the capitol is located the Heritage Center. It has wonderful exhibits covering the history of North Dakota from the time of the dinosaurs. The museum also has an excellent collection of America Indian artifacts has well as interpretive exhibits featuring North Dakota's military and agricultural history. Outside the building is this statue of Sakakawea who guided the Lewis and Clark expedition. The artist, Leonard Cuellet,used one of Sakakawea's descendants Hannah Levings as a model for the statue. Hannah was from the Hidutsa Indian tribe. This artwork was done in 1909.
While John was finishing up at the museum I strolled to the west side of the capitol mall to take the arboretum trail which is located behind the Governor's Residence. The trail meanders through a forest of trees and shrubs. Posts identify 75 different species planted on the grounds. I found an interesting statue of a horse near the end of the trail. It is made of bits and pieces of rebar welded together.

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