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Overview

Bismarck got its big start when Lewis and Clark explored the area during the winter of 1804 and 1805 and camped on the banks of the Missouri River not far from the site of today's city. The famous expedition paved the way for thousands of pioneer families. Bismarck got its unusual name in 1873 as a tribute to Germany's "Iron Chancellor" in hopes of attracting more Germans to invest in the budding railroad and to entice German immigrants to settle in the city. As a riverboat port and railroad terminal, Bismarck became a boomtown and boomed even more after gold was discovered in the Black Hills in 1874. The capital city of North Dakota, ...

Bismarck got its big start when Lewis and Clark explored the area during the winter of 1804 and 1805 and camped on the banks of the Missouri River not far from the site of today's city. The famous expedition paved the way for thousands of pioneer families. Bismarck got its unusual name in 1873 as a tribute to Germany's "Iron Chancellor" in hopes of attracting more Germans to invest in the budding railroad and to entice German immigrants to settle in the city. As a riverboat port and railroad terminal, Bismarck became a boomtown and boomed even more after gold was discovered in the Black Hills in 1874. The capital city of North Dakota, Bismarck is home to the "Skyscraper on the Prairie" — a 19-story capitol building made of white limestone with a black granite base. An observation deck on the 18th floor offers a splendid view of the city and surrounding countryside.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Jackie Finch for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Early or late summer