North Dakota January 06, 2018
8 Places Where You Can Still Experience Old North Dakota
As towns and cities continue to grow and shift with the times, you may long for the “good old days” once in a while. Those simpler times in North Dakota’s infancy — back when everything was still new and what is old now was fresh and exciting then. If you’d like to take a path down memory lane and into the history of the Peace Garden State, there are quite a few places that still have that preserved. Check them out:
Pembina has such a rich history that is hard to surpass in the area. It is the oldest community in not only North Dakota, but South Dakota too, back when they were still the Dakota Territory. Today, this history has been preserved in various places around Pembina, and the natural beauty of the state is relatively untouched here.
2. Fort Ransom State Park
The beautiful Fort Ransom State Park in the Sheyenne River Valley not far from Valley City, has so much more than beautiful hiking trails. It also has a historic homestead that will bring you right back to the early days of North Dakota that many people may have grandparents or great grandparents that experienced life this way. They are also host to the Sodbuster Days, demonstrating life in that era.
What better way to experience old North Dakota than at the wild west town of Medora? This history-rich small town holds true to back when this place was still a rough and wild land that Theodore Roosevelt fell in love with. With places like the Chateau des Mores and multiple museums, it'll bring you straight back into the past.
4. On-A-Slant Village
The On-A-Slant village near the cities of Bismarck and Mandan is a great historic site. These will take you back hundreds of years, long before North Dakota was even a state or a territory, to life for the early Native Americans in the area — the Mandan people. A few of their earth lodges have been restored to what they would have looked like so long ago and you can explore them yourself.
5. Downtown Fargo
Being North Dakota's biggest city has made the downtown area of Fargo into a spot of old city charm. The century-old buildings, and of course that famous Fargo Theatre sign, will bring you back to the early 1900s when North Dakota really started to boom in population.
6. Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
This stunning state park not only has beautiful natural landscapes to explore, it also has multiple historic aspects that'll really transport you to the past. This is the last remaining place in the entire state that has a trolley ride, which you can take through the native prairies to historic sites such as Custer's House and Fort Abraham Lincoln.
7. Bagg Bonanza Farm
Bonanza farms were such a big thing back in the early days of North Dakota that have since mostly vanished — except here. Located near the small town of Mooreton, North Dakota, the Bagg Bonanza Farm has perfectly preserved what life was like in the old days. It mostly captures the time between the 1910s and 1940s. The many buildings include a house, barn, and plenty of other farm sheds are full of stories.
8. Scandinavian Heritage Park
When North Dakota began to be settled by immigrants heading westward across the country, it was mostly Germans from Russia and Scandinavian peoples. Today, that history still shows in a lot of North Dakotan's day to day life. Phrases and sayings as well as things like recipes and popular regional foods show it in the present, and places like the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot show it in the past. This park has all you need to know and experience about the Scandinavian heritage in old North Dakota.
Visiting these places yourself is definitely one of the best ways to learn about and experience old North Dakota and its history, but the only way you can truly see what it was like is through photographs. Luckily, there have been quite a few taken in North Dakota over the past century and further — take a look by