The chance to see the World’s Largest Buffalo intrigued me to want to make a stop at Jamestown, North Dakota. OK, it made me as excited a kid wanting to see their favorite super hero. Maybe, not that much. But I looked forward to checking it out, along with the National Buffalo Museum.
“Dakota Thunder” stands tall on the North Dakota prairie – 28 feet tall. The sculpture is 46 feet long and weighs about 60 tons. The statue is made from stucco and cement. Construction of the World’s Largest Buffalo started in 1959. It took 10 years to complete.
The statue is one of the most popular attractions in the state, according to various websites. We saw quite a few people checking it out during our visit.
The World’s Largest Buffalo may entice people off the interstate, but once there, attractions such as the National Buffalo Museum and Frontier Village make it a worthwhile visit.
The buffalo museum highlights the history of the American bison (buffalo are actually bison). Early explorers provided sketches of what they thought bison looked like. Bison roamed most of the United States before westward movement by European Americans resulted in needless killing of the animals for sport. Nationally, bison population is rebounding; though, it will never match earlier numbers.
Visitors can see skulls and other bones that are hundreds of years old.
Some skulls have been painted and decorated by artists. They create beautiful art.
The museum offers displays on the uses of bison, including buffalo skin coats.
Other artwork includes paintings and sculptures.
The museum includes a look at early Native American life, including a tepee and arrows, used for hunting.
Beyond the Native American-related history, the National Buffalo Museum offers a look into other aspects of American history. A small display recognizes the exploration of the region by Lewis and Clark during the early 1800s.
Western rifles and saddles are included in the museum’s exhibits.
Outside the museum, another beautiful reason exists to visit Jamestown. A white bison is considered sacred among Native Americans spiritually. The museum owns two white bison. White Cloud is the eldest. It’s likely an albino bison, since it has pink eyes. A white bison is rare, so the fact that the herd has two is even more amazing.
Most of the herd was roaming in another area of land during our visit. However, we lucked out and were able to see White Cloud. It was our first time seeing a true white bison. I will admit that I was emotionally moved (just had a special feeling inside).
After taking in the view, we moved to the Frontier Village for a short walk. The village is small. We checked out the Louis L’Amour Writer’s Shack. The Jamestown native was a famous western author.
We enjoyed our visit to Jamestown and all things bison-related. The entire visit lasted about an hour. We recommend checking out the area. Once you see the white bison or the World’s Largest Buffalo, you’ll appreciate the visit.
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