World’s Largest Buffalo Monument

World’s Largest Buffalo

This 26-foot-tall, 60-ton concrete giant has been standing watch over Jamestown from the Frontier Village since 1959.

Created by sculptor Elmer Petersen, he has proven one of the Midwest’s most popular roadside attractions for over 50 years. In 2010, the World’s Largest Buffalo received his name, Dakota Thunder.

The monument was fashioned using a wire mesh framed from steel beaming and a reinforcing rod, then covered with gunnite – a type of sprayed cement.

Did you know?

Dakota Thunder weighs about as much as five average-sized African Elephants, or 30 average-sized automobiles!

Construction costs to build the giant monument were $8,500, the equivalent of $70,000 today.

For fifty years after his creation, the World’s Largest Buffalo had no official name. He was finally christened Dakota Thunder following a contest to name him in 2010, a contest that drew over 3,500 entries. Michael Shirek of Devil’s Lake, ND was the one to submit the winning name.


Open Year-Round


404 17th ST SE, Jamestown, ND

Free will donation
Discover more...
North American Bison Discovery Center
Explore the history and significance of the American buffalo. Discover