North Dakota Capitol Grounds
Visit North Dakota's state capitol and grounds. Tour includes monuments and the state heritage museum.
The North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum is operated by the State Historical Society of North Dakota. It serves as the Society's headquarters and is also the location of the State Geological Survey and State Archives. It is the largest museum building in North Dakota, featuring four galleries that explore the state's rich natural and cultural history. The first gallery, called the Adaptation gallery, showcases the state's ancient geological record, featuring fossils, cast skeletons of a T-Rex and Triceratops, and an interactive timeline that takes visitors on a journey beginning 600 million years ago; the Innovation gallery highlights the state's archaeological record, beginning 13,000 years ago, through the fur trade and up to the 1860s; the Inspiration gallery explores the state's past form the mid-1800s to today, focusing on agriculture, industry and energy, settlement, immigration and migration, and conflicts and war; the last gallery, the Governors gallery, is where temporary and traveling exhibits are presented. The building was expanded in 2014. There is also an amphitheater and an outdoor plaza featuring an ancient petrified tree and large boulders dating to 56-million years ago.
1910 statue of Sakakawea, the Shoshone-Hidatsa woman who helped to guide and translate for the 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark expedition. A descendant of Sakakawea modeled for artist Leonard Crunelle's sculpture. A replica of the statue was placed in the United States Capitol Visitor Center in 2003.
Prior to statehood, women earned the right to vote in school elections in 1883 and that continued after statehood in 1889. North Dakota was close to enfranchising women in 1893; a bill granting women suffrage passed both chambers of the state legislature, but the speaker of the House refused to sign it. Women hoped that the governor would still sign it into law, but the bill was “lost” on its way to his office. The House then expunged the record of mentions of the bill. Legislation about women’s suffrage continued to be introduced to the legislature, but the women’s suffrage movement in North Dakota was relatively quiet until 1912. With new support for the movement, suffragists finally saw a bill passed by the state legislature in 1913 but law was then defeated in a 1914 general election 40,209 to 49,348 votes. Another attempt in 1915 did not pass through the legislature. In 1917 North Dakota Women were granted limited suffrage: women could vote for presidential electors, county officials, some city officials, and township officers, but not for members of the state or national legislature. North Dakota ratified the 19th Amendment on December 1, 1919.
Monument honoring "Honest John" Burke, North Dakota state legislator, governor, state supreme court justice, and secretary of the US treasury under President Woodrow Wilson. This is a second casting of the statue of Burke sculpted by Avard Fairbanks to represent North Dakota in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall.
Completed in 1934 at the height of the Great Depression, North Dakota's state capitol departed dramatically from traditional dome-topped classical statehouses. Instead, it is a practical office tower.
Dedicated in 1988, the life-size bronze boy and girl represent the Space Age generation stepping forward into the future.
This monument honoring early settlers of the American West was sculpted by Avard Fairbanks. Unveiled on the North Dakota State Capitol grounds in 1947. Donated by Harry F. McLean in honor of his father, John A. McLean, the first mayor of Bismarck, North Dakota. It closely resembles other pioneer family monuments erected in the American West after World War II.