Reader Reply: June 2021
What is your favorite art or cultural site to visit in North Dakota?
WORLD’S LARGEST BUFFALO
A buffalo? Many interstate travelers may question if they are seeing correctly, as they speed along I-94 through Jamestown and see a large buffalo overlooking the town below.
Sure enough, their initial perception would be correct, as at the end of Louis L’Amour Lane lies “The World’s Largest Buffalo Monument.”
The monument stands at a whopping 26 feet tall and is made nearly entirely of concrete, weighing nearly 60 tons. Constructed in 1959, the buffalo was created by Elmer Petersen and has received much acclaim as possibly one of the Midwest’s most popular roadside attractions for the past 50 years. In 2010, the buffalo was christened “Dakota Thunder.”
While the monument is impressive, why is this a high schooler’s favorite art or cultural site to visit in North Dakota? I may be biased as a lifelong resident of Jamestown, but I am impressed by the symbol this monument provides for my home city. “The World’s Largest Buffalo” sets Jamestown apart from other small towns along the interstate, as it gives people something to remember us and instills in them a reason to come back and learn more. All the while, the monument provides a symbol that all citizens can identify and rally around, regardless if you are a Blue Jay or a Jimmie.
“The World's Largest Buffalo” is a great place to learn some history and maybe even take a selfie. More so, for me, it provides an invitation for travelers to make a stop in Jamestown and enjoy the charm of a city that all too often gets overlooked by tourists.
Jamestown High School student
Northern Plains Electric Cooperative
STANLEY CULTURAL CENTER
My favorite art and cultural site to visit in North Dakota is the Sibyl Center in Stanley.
It is rich in both the arts and as a cultural center. It began its journey in 2005 and has hosted musical genres ranging from classical, gospel, country, bluegrass, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. Someone even performed as a vocal yodeler. Dancing is always encouraged for its guests.
It has had exhibits on photography, painting, art glass and sculpture. It has sponsored garden tours, children’s programs and dinner theaters. In the past, old-fashioned English teas have been an event, too. The Sibyl Center has hosted historical presentations on different famous people.
One of the positive compliments is the acoustics are some of the best for all of the United States and Canada. It even received a compliment in this regard from Italy!
The Sibyl Center has two finished levels, and it is disability accessible. It is a nonprofit organization, which operates on donations only.
So, you can see why I enjoy the Sibyl Center. I hope you will come and enjoy it, too! The address is 301 First St. S.W., Stanley.
Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative
Bonanzaville, a pioneer village and museum in West Fargo, is like a dynamic patchwork quilt, as it presents the history of the Red River Valley from frontier days to modern times. This 12-acre attraction features 36 historical buildings, with over 400,000 artifacts!
Instead of turning the pages in a history book, Bonanzaville welcomes visitors to walk right into yesteryear. The industrial- and mechanical-minded will delight in the blacksmith shop, the air museum and the antique cars, tractors and steam engines. Children are especially thrilled to enter some of the aircraft, explore the inside of the old train cars, and experience the Pioneer Fire Hall. My favorites have included the general store, the telephone museum, and viewing the architecture and furnishings in an early home – whether it be sod, log, a teepee or the once distinguished Houston family mansion.
Stepping back in time to uncover and appreciate the culture of the early Native Americans and the first pioneers is truly a memorable experience at Bonanzaville. So, be prepared to explore, discover and get a little frontier dust on your shoes.
McLean Electric Cooperative
UPCOMING READER REPLY QUESTION:
JULY: What’s the best advice you can offer a beginning farmer or rancher?
Deadline for submission: June 11
AUGUST: Tell us about a coach who has influenced your life.
Deadline for submission: July 12
We want to hear FROM you: Submissions should be no more than 250 words, typewritten or in legible handwriting. Include your name, complete address, daytime phone number and the name of the rural electric cooperative to which you belong. Note: Magazine staff reserves the right to make editing changes and cuts. We pay $25 for each letter we print. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to READER REPLY, North Dakota Living, P.O. Box 727, Mandan, ND 58554-0727.