North Dakota: Jamestown – World’s Largest Buffalo

Stopping off to visit the World’ Largest Buffalo and checking out the National Buffalo Museum

 

As you drive along I-94 across North Dakota it is difficult to miss the giant statue of a buffalo that sits on a hill above the highway. This is apparently the World’s largest buffalo / bison statue, standing at 26 feet tall and 40 feet long and weighing a mighty 60 tons. Obviously we could not miss the opportunity to stop and snap a few photos. We also took the opportunity to visit the Frontier Village and National Buffalo Museum located right next door.

The statue was commissioned and built in 1959 by Elmer P. Peterson, an art teacher at Jamestown College. He was hired by Harold Newman, a powerful local billboard man who said he wanted “to create something so big and magnificent that passersby would have to stop in the city.”

In 2010, after more than 50 years of nameless fame, the buffalo was officially christened “Dakota Thunder.”

The buffalo is part of the Frontier Village and National Buffalo Museum, which has a herd of live bison, including a rare albino, “Dakota Miracle.” Her albino mom, “White Cloud,” died in 2016; the Buffalo Museum had her stuffed in 2017 and permanently added to its displays.

Address: 17th St. SW, Jamestown, ND
Directions: I-94 exit 258. Drive north. Turn right at the Frontier Village National Buffalo Museum green highway sign onto 17th St. SW. Follow the road into Frontier Village, then bear left to arrive at the giant buffalo.
Hours: Open daily May-Sep., closed Sundays Oct-April. (Call to verify)
Phone: 701-251-9145
Admission: Free

 

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