Dickinson, ND | Our Past & Memories
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Our Past & Memories

From its beginnings in the 1880s, Dickinson, ND has grown in to a regional center for a variety of activities, ranging from medical care and business to arts and entertainment. Dickinson, ND History.
Images courtesy of Southwestern North Dakota Digital. To purchase historic prints, contact the Dickinson Museum Center at 701-456-6225.

From its beginnings in the 1880s, Dickinson, ND has grown in to a regional center for a variety of activities, ranging from medical care and business to arts and entertainment.

History of Dickinson, ND

Southwest North Dakota has a long and rich history that begins with Native American communities. The city of Dickinson has more than lived up to its original name. It began as “Pleasant Valley Siding” in 1881, when the Northern Pacific Railroad reached this point in a wide valley on the Heart River, halfway between the Missouri River and the Montana Territory border.

Dickinson gradually became the main trade center within a 150-mile radius in the territory. The large cattle outfits dotting the countryside purchased their supplies from and shipped their stock out of Dickinson. For decades Dickinson remained a major cattle shipping point, and ranching was a major element in the region’s economic system. Gradually this area shifted to a strong agricultural- farming base and more and more immigrants arrived to take on the challenge of raising grain for a living. By the 1950s the oil industry had also become a significant resource to the region. Ranching and farming continue to be integral to the local economy, in addition to the oil and coal industries.

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From its beginnings in the 1880s, Dickinson, ND has grown in to a regional center for a variety of activities, ranging from medical care and business to arts and entertainment. Dickinson, ND History.

Visit Dickinson History Podcast

Join us on the Visit Dickinson History Podcast as we dig deep into the history of Dickinson, ND.
Relive our history!

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Ghost Towns & Cemeteries

We've designed the perfect day drive to visit the homesteaders that settled Stark County, North Dakota.
Interested in cemeteries and ghost towns? We've designed the perfect day drive to visit the homesteaders that settled Stark County.

Old cemeteries hold stories that shaped the local communities. Unique headstones, some featuring the iron crosses that were designed by the Germans from Russia are standing yet today.

While many of the old towns no longer exist, the memories of the ghost towns in Stark County can be visited along the country roads. This map provides logistical and historical information that will help you drive into the past.

View Ghost Towns & Cemeteries

History and Drives

SW North Dakota History and Drives near Dickinson, ND.
You want to take a drive and DO something, right? Maybe you aren’t into the walking and wildlife viewing and such. Like a little history and taking a drive? We have several ideas for you!

Going a short distance around our area is a day trip that can be fun, and you can learn a few things too along the way.

SW North Dakota History and Drives




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