History of Bismarck, North Dakota
Bismarck was founded in 1872 (as Edwinton) as the point where the Northern Pacific railroad would span the Missouri River. The city was renamed the following year to attract German settlement and investment.
Bismarck was named capital of Dakota Territory in 1883, and assumed the title for North Dakota upon entering statehood in 1889.
The area was previously home to several dominant native tribes, most notably the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Sioux, and Chippewa.
La Vérendrye was one of the first outside explorers to the area, around 1738. Explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark camped the winter of 1804-1805 at a site roughly 40 miles to the north, along with their Lemhi Shoshone guide, Sakakawea.
1872-1898: Bismarck is Born
Early History Prior to formal organization by the United States Government, the region including and surrounding what...
1899-1929: Dawn of a New Century
The Fire of 1898 had wiped out a large portion of Bismarck, including most of its downtown....
1930-1944: Great Depression And The War
The stock market crashed in October 1929, causing widespread economic chaos across the United States. To make...
1945-1959: Post-War Boom
Following World War II, Bismarck experienced significant growth and development. Its population nearly doubled from 1940 to...
1960-1969: Demands Of A Growing City
By 1960, the city had over 27,000 citizens, and its aging public facilities were becoming inadequate. Even...
1970-1979: Changing Retail Trend & The Decay of Downtown
The 1970s were a time of major change for Bismarck. The decade would see the most development...
1980-1999: Declining Growth
The 1980s opened with the recent completion of Gateway Mall and the expansion of the area’s largest...
2000-Present: Reinventing Bismarck
By the new millennium, Bismarck had grown to more than 55,000 citizens. The tough retail trend that...