Created By: Great River Energy
Population (Bismarck – 72,865, Mandan – 22,228, area total: 95,000+)
Sister cities sprang up in the late 1880s when the transcontinental railroad was built.
Bismarck – born when the Northern Pacific Railroad reached the east bank of the Missouri River in 1873. Named by the Northern Pacific Railroad after Germany’s “Iron Chancellor” Otto Von Bismarck
Mandan – named for the Mantani Indians. Founded as the center of western expansion of the iron rail. A railroad bridge was built in 1883, linking the towns and joining the east with west. Mandan has a Burlington Northern railyard.
Today the two cities are a trade and transportation hub. Major industries include agriculture, energy, medical, and government.
Fort Lincoln State Park was once an important infantry and cavalry post. It was from this fort that Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh Cavalry rode out on their ill-fated expedition against the Sioux at the Little Big Horn. Portions of the military post, including the Custer House, have been reconstructed. The site also includes On-A-Slant Indian Villages, including reconstructed earth lodges that depict the lifestyle of the Mandan Indians who occupied this site from about 1575-1781. The park includes a modern campground in a scenic wooded are adjacent to the Heart River.
Capitol. First was constructed during the territorial period (1883-4) – five years before statehood in 1889. Burned down on December 28, 1930. The second and present Capitol was completed in 1934, in the depths of the Great Depression. It is 241 feet and 8 inches in height.
The North Dakota Legislature meets every two years and last met in 2019.
The building to the east of the Capitol is the state history museum - the North Dakota Heritage Center. It includes sections on dinosaurs, Native Americans and early settlement.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Great River Energy's Coal Creek Tour