Book Talk and Signing with Tom Isern
Tom Isern, author and professor at NDSU, will be at the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum - Frontier Room on December 8th to discuss his new book, Pacing Dakota.
It might have been called My Life on the Plains, but that title was taken. Pacing Dakota came together as a collection of sketches, drawing on radio scripts written and read weekly on statewide public radio (Prairie Public) under the title, Plains Folk. Somewhere in the process, as the author graduated from writing transitions to adding reflections, looking back on forty years as a working historian and regional author, the work crossed the line into the domain of memoir. The "prairie historian" in Pacing Dakota emerges as this generation's leading interpreter of historical experience and the sense of place in his home country. The narrative transitions from the close confines of historical archives into the prairie landscapes of the northern plains. It speaks with the mingled voices of scholarly historian, outdoor sportsman, culinary enthusiast, lifelong Lutheran, and prairie farmboy. The author prowls prairie churches, finds forgotten artifacts, and gathers cherished stories from Williston to Wahpeton and points beyond. He situates his encounters along the way into the canon of literary and historical writing on the prairies. In the end, he speaks for a generation born and raised on the Great Plains of North America and committed to making a good life in this place.
Tom Isern is Professor of History & University Distinguished Professor, North Dakota State University. A specialist in the history of the Great Plains, he is the author or co-author of six previous books about history and life in the region. Isern is well known in the region for his weekly feature, Plains Folk, on Prairie Public radio. He is married to historian and editor Suzzanne Kelley.
- Local History
AnthropologyThis region of the country has a wealth of fascinating Indian history and culture. Sitting Bull, Four Bears, Running Antelope, George Armstrong Custer, General Crook, Buffalo Bird Woman, Rain-in-the-Face, these are just some of the famous names that played a role in the drama of life here. On display is the beauty, power, and spirit of the legendary tribes of this area. Through historic and contemporary photographs, stone and bone artifacts, rock art images, plant samples, quotations, art prints, text, animal hides and skulls, feathers, and beadwork, their compelling story is told.
The Mandan, Arikara, and Hidatsa were well known for their gardens, in which they grew squash, melon, sunflower, corn, and beans using tools made of stone or bone. Other stone artifacts include projectile points from Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Late Archaic, Middle Woodland, Late Woodland, Plains Village and up to the Historic Period.Learn more
The Archaeology Department is responsible for the collection, interpretation and curation of artifacts and information pertaining to the history of the area. The Archaeology Department continues to develop and maintain both a research document collection and an artifact collection. These are available to the general public and research institutions. Please contact the Archaeology Department for more information
Access to the collections is limited and all interested individuals or institutions are asked to contact the Archaeology Department about your requests, prior to arrival. All requests for access to the research documents and / or collections must be received in writing no later than 30 days prior to arrival. Please submit your request directly to the Archaeology Department briefly stating the intended purpose for the visit, what document or item(s) you wish to view, and your planned arrival date. An Archaeology Department representative will be in contact with you. Requests received by e-mail, fax, or letterhead are all appropriate.Learn more
The Genealogy Department is one of the newer departments and is still being developed. Our collections include a fairly extensive file of births, deaths, and marriages. We have several cemetery records and numerous reference and local history books. We also have a microfilm/microfiche reader/printer and several rolls of film for research purposes. The films include a large number of the early newspaper files, and there is a paper archive of the first one hundred years of publication by the Bowman County Pioneer.Learn more
Are you interested in the stars? Or do you find yourself looking
up at the sky instead of in front of you? Come help us develop
This department needs volunteers and people with an interest in the skys. Please contacts us to express an intrest.
If you really want to see the prairie, you have to get out of your vehicle and walk upon it. So it is with our native plant gardens, and that is why they are called the Prairie Walk. It is one thing to read about a prairie, it is quite another to walk though one. Our mission with the Prairie Walk is to re-create a small sample of this shared natural heritage.
The Dakota prairies are the stuff of legend. Vast herds of buffalo, earth lodge villages, Sitting Bull and his Lakota warriors, cowboys, homesteaders, sheepherders, and pioneers all contributed to the rich and colorful history of this region. It was the prairie that drew them here, and it was the prairie that sustained them. In the course of settlement, the animals, the people, and the prairies themselves went through many changes. Today the prairie exists only in scattered remnants, and is much different from its original condition.Learn more
Also on display are military uniforms and memorabilia with local connections from Calvary days, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. Currently there are plans to include the Vietnam War and Desert Storm as the display area is enlarged.
The Bowman County Historical and Genealogical Society published the book, A History of Bowman County 1907-2007, as part of the Bowman County Centennial in 2007. An authentic sod house was constructed in the spring of 2006, located on the east museum grounds.Learn more
The demise of the dinosaurs and the changes in local paleoenvironments are just a couple of areas in which the Paleontology Department has been researching over the past decade. This research is conducted in the rugged landscapes along the Little Missouri Badlands drainages in southwestern North Dakota.
The Badlands in the area represent the last geographical times from the Cretaceous Period, which was home to the dinosaurs, giant marine reptiles and extinct exotic plants. Research teams associated with the museum have been working in these ancient environments collecting fossil vertebrates, invertebrates and plants to try to reconstruct what was present here million years ago. As a result of these studies, clues are emerging as to how the plants and animals were interacting, how abundant they were and what the area was like when the meteor impact occurred on the Yucatan Peninsula at Chicxulub wiping out the dinosaurs.Learn more