Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jamestown, North Dakota

In the late 1950s the new Interstate highway (94) was making its way across North Dakota. The town of Jamestown decided that it needed a man-made attraction to draw tourists off the new road and into town. Thus came about the creation of a buffalo made of stucco and steel. He stands at the height of 26 feet and weights 60 tons. In the picture above you may notice that John is certainly dwarfed by that statue! We actually came to see the albino buffalo which are in a herd located near Jamestown. There are three of them here and we did get to see them (local people told us that the herd have a wide range to roam in and are not always seen). The matriarch, White Cloud was in one area off by herself and her son, Dakota Miracle born in 2007, was in another field with the other white buffalo, Dakota Legend born in 2008. Below is Dakota Legend. The white buffalo are considered sacred by Native Americans.
We thought we were only stopping to see the buffalo. But near the fields where they are located is a pioneer village called Frontier City. Many old buildings from around the area have been moved to this location. We found an old Lutheran church which had been moved moved here from the town of Millarton. The church was first used as a school in 1883, in 1929 it was remodeled into a church and moved to Millarton. In 1965 it was moved to Frontier Village. Below is a picture of its nave, note the coal furnace!
One of the village buildings has a display of author Louis L'Amour's books. He was born in 1908 in Jamestown. In his lifetime he wrote 120 novels about the western frontier,some of which were made into movies.  L'Amour died in 1988. Speaking of the frontier, in this village is a log cabin built in 1898. The clothes hanging outside certainly gives it a homey touch! Hard to believe that a family once lived in it!
John and I always use to think that paying to ride in a stagecoach was a silly touristy thing to spend money on. But we did do it in Frontier Village. We finally decided that we wanted to have that experience. And riding over the prairie on an uneven trail was certainly a bone-jarring experience, but we were glad we did it.

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