Discover History in Jamestown
Jamestown, named for the James River, began as a meeting place long ago. It's where the two rivers, what are now called the James River and the Pipestem Creek, meet. The landmark of these two rivers converging gave a clear location for Plains Indians and traders, alike, to come together.
The bison, or buffalo if you prefer, roamed these lands. Their presence, the water, the fertile ground, and the ample sunshine, made this land an ideal location for hunting and planting. The National Buffalo Museum showcases the importance of the bison, with the highlight of their display being a live herd with white bison, Dakota Miracle.
Jamestown grew as the railroad blazed a trail across the nation. Fort Seward was commissioned to protect the railroad workers in this endeavor. Pioneers raced to the area, and much of their history can be seen today at the Stutsman County Memorial Museum. The Frontier Village also pays homage to the spirit of these pioneers by recreating a pioneer town. Fort Seward may not fully stand anymore, but a portion of the grounds has been maintained and claims home to the largest United States Flag on display in the state of North Dakota.
As Dakota Territory sought to spilt into North and South Dakota, Jamestown sought the title of State Capitol. Much of the groundwork for statehood was developed at the Historic 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse, the oldest courthouse in the state of North Dakota. Jamestown may have lost out on the title of State Capitol, but the spirit of those original developers still lives strong today.
Not long after the state of North Dakota was born, beloved author Louis L'Amour was born in Jamestown. His love for the written word was developed and nurtured right here, and you can see some of the same places that he frequented today.