The Top 10 Historical Sites in North Dakota!

The Roughrider State has played a significant role in major events throughout America’s history. From historic missile sites, to forts playing a pivotal part in the state’s Native American history, to entire village’s dedicated to replicating life in the 1800s, it isn’t hard to immerse yourself in history in North Dakota. These 10 historical spots take you on an exciting trip to the past. 

1. Bagg Bonanza Farm, Mooretown, ND

The Bagg Bonanza Farm provides visitors with an authentic look at life on a bonanza farm in the early 20th century. Once encompassing over 7,000 acres, the farm operated between 1915 and 1935. Now a 15-acre museum, the complex’s centerpiece is a fully restored 21-bedroom house that gives guests a one-of-a-kind trip back in history. The Bagg Bonanza Farm was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2005. 

2. Fort Totten State Historic Site, Fort Totten, ND

The Fort Totten Historic Site is an important vestige in the state’s Native American history. The location was built in 1867 and served as a military post until it became a boarding school in 1890. The primary buildings at the site have been preserved, giving visitors a realistic historical experience. Interestingly, the site was also used as a Tuberculosis Preventorium from 1935-1939. Fort Totten became an Historic Site in 1960.

3. Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site, Cooperstown, NY

The Cold War was an active time in North Dakota. The Minuteman Missile Site includes the last fragments of the 321st Missile Wing, a collection of intercontinental ballistic missile launch sites that were created to provide surface to air protection for the Grand Forks Air Force Base. The site consists of two distinct facilities, the Oscar-Zero Missile Alert Facility and the November-33 Launch Facility. Visitors will receive a guided tour of the realistic topside facilities and an unparalleled glimpse into life during one of the tensest political times in the country’s history. 

4. Knife River Indian Village, Stanton, ND

Over two centuries ago, the Lewis and Clark Expedition came upon the Knife River Indian Village area. The Hidatsa Indians provided the duo with valuable intel and the groups became steadfast allies. Today, the 1,758-acre site is a collection of archeological remnants of the Northern Plain Indians.

5. Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, Mandan, ND

In 1876, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh cavalry attacked the Sioux Indians living at Little Big Horn, a battle that ultimately proved fatal for Custer and his men. The area from which the brigade departed is now commemorated at the 1,006-acre Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. Important buildings of the military post have been reconstructed, including the Custer House and the earth lodges of the 16th century Mandan Indians. 

6. North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum, Bismarck, ND

North Dakota’s largest museum, the heritage center is a collection of artifacts dating back to the earliest inhabitants of the state. Interactive exhibits include the Adaptation Gallery: Geologic Time, the Innovation Gallery: Early Peoples, the Inspiration Gallery: Yesterday and Today, and the Governors Gallery: Green Revolution. In addition, the museum has a special children’s exhibit area called the Treehouse. 

7. Chateau de Mores State Historic Site, Medora, ND

In 1883, Antoine de Vallombrose, also known as the Marquis de Mores, arrived in North Dakota. Among his many accomplishments, Antoine created the town of Medora, which is now one of the state’s biggest tourist attractions. The Chateau de Mores State Historic Site includes a 26-room, two-story building erected in 1883 as the family’s summer residence. The home is now a museum that provides visitors with an authentic look at the family and its lifestyle. 

8. Fort Union Trading Post, Williston, ND

In 1829, the Fort Union Trading Post was constructed at the intersection of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. Eventually, the post became the top fur-trading post in the area. Doing business until 1867, Fort Union was also the longest lasting. The post has been reconstructed to give visitors the highest degree of authenticity. The flagship structure is the elegant Bourgeois House, which was reconstructed in 1987. 

9. Pembina State Museum, Pembina, ND

Located in the northeastern corner of North Dakota, the Pembina State Museum may not be as well-known as its larger counterparts, but it is a thrilling museum nonetheless. With a rich Native American heritage in the area, the museum pays homage to the Ojibwa, Dakota, Assiniboine, and Cree tribes. The area was also an important fur trade post, which adds another dimension to the museum’s artifacts. One of the most stunning parts of the museum is likely its observation tour, which stands seven stories above the ground and offers visitors a 360-degree view for up to ten miles. 

10. Bonanzaville USA, West Fargo, ND

Interested in experiencing an authentic representation of life in the 1800s? A visit to Bonanzaville is in order. Step inside an authentic blacksmith shop, cozy up to the bar at the Brass Rail Saloon, try to imagine a typical day at the Dobrinz School, or stroll through the Law Enforcement Museum. Few activities will make you more grateful for the contemporary luxuries that are so easy to take for granted. Bonanzaville is open year-round and portions can also be rented for special occasions. 

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Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
500 17th Street South East, Jamestown, ND
The mission of the North Dakota Buffalo Foundation (NDBF) is to foster awareness of the cultural and historical significance of the North American ... Read More
100 34th AVE NE, Minot, ND
About Us:The Dakota Territory Air Museum was founded in June of 1986 with the incorporators' dream and desire to provide the most comprehensive avi... Read More
19 First Street Northeast, Minot, ND
History:The Railroad Museum of Minot was founded in 1986 as part of the North Dakota Centennial Celebration in the city.  The museum was organ... Read More
2 North Main Street, Minot, ND
Our Vision:The Lillian & Coleman Taube Museum of Art encourages affiliation with various community arts groups, such as the Minot Area Council ... Read More
188 Museum Drive East, Dickinson, ND
Joachim Museum - The Joachim Museum includes art and history exhibits of regional significance, features the Osborn Reading and Research Room, and ... Read More
200 East Museum Drive, Dickinson, ND
The mission of the Dakota Dinosaur Museum is to promote tourism by providing a facility to display earth science specimens excavated from the area ... Read More
Exit 215, Off Interstate-29 805 Highway 59, Pembina, ND
1609 19th Avenue North, Fargo, ND
Mission:To Provide aviation education through restoration and Preservation. Read More
102 Highway 2 South East, Rugby, ND
About Us: Prairie Village Museum was established in 1964 and is currently operated under the Geographical Center Historical Society. The Historica... Read More
12 First Avenue North East, Bowman, ND
Mission:We want to be a Historical Society that conserves historical artifacts and fossils, operates a regional museum, educates the public and pre... Read More
1201 28th Avenue North, Fargo, ND
About Us:The Children's Museum began in 1985 as a project of the Junior League of Fargo/Moorhead and the Fargo Park District.  Complete renova... Read More
2405 Belmont Road, Grand Forks, ND
The Myra Museum was constructed in 1976 for the Grand Forks County Historical Society, with funds from the Myra Foundation. Its architecture reflec... Read More
321 Third Avenue South East, Jamestown, ND
The home of the Stutsman County Memorial Museum was built by George Lutz in 1907.  We are located at 317 3rd St. SE in Jamestown, North Dakota. Read More
4839 78th Street, Wolford, ND
The museum is a unique display of antique farm machinery and pioneer living. Read More
1351 West Main Avenue, West Fargo, ND
Mission:The Cass County Historical Society is a non-profit organization made up of members of the community who are dedicated to preserving the his... Read More
13571 Highway 5, Cavalier, ND
North Dakota’s homesteading spirit is evident at  Icelandic State Park, located on the shores of Lake Renwick. Established in 1964; this... Read More
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