News & Events

Watch this page for information about upcoming events and information about the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum!



ATV History Tour Registration Open

2021-05-06 00:00:00

The Archeology Department of PTRM is hosting their annual ATV History Tour again in 2021! Participants will be part of a guided ATV tour through the area, with stops to learn about local history, presented by members of the Archeology Department, along the way. The tour will begin at 8:30 am each day, with an expected return to town around 4 pm. Registration is $50/person, which includes lunch and each day is limited to 40 vehicles. For more information or to register, contact the museum. 

Special Hours

2021-03-30 00:00:00

PTRM will be closing at 1 pm on Thursday, April 1 and closed all day on Friday, April 2. Normal hours will resume on Monday, April 5. 

Interested in Paleontology?

2021-03-23 00:00:00

The Pioneer Trails Regional Museum is looking for individuals interested in volunteering to help with their Paleontology Program for the collection, curation and display of fossils found in the local area.  There is no cost for participating. 

Masks will be required. 

If you have questions, please contact the museum at 701-523-3600 for more information. 

PTRM is Hiring!

2021-03-05 00:00:00

Pioneer Trails Regional Museum is looking for a full-time seasonal worker to assist with day-to-day operations of the museum. Position would run May through September. Must be willing to work some Saturdays. Salary dependent on experience and skill set. Applications available at the museum. Completed applications must be received by March 12. For more information contact: Jean Nudell at 523-3600 or

Closing Early

2021-03-02 00:00:00

PTRM will be closing at 1 pm on Thursday, March 4, 2021. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Closed for the Day

2021-02-03 00:00:00

The museum will be closed to visitors on Friday, February 5, 2021. We apologize for any inconvenience. 

Holiday Shopping

2020-12-14 00:00:00

Looking for a gift for that hard-to-shop-for someone? Look no further than PTRM's gift shop! With gifts for all ages and interests, the gift shop is a great option for gifts for all occaisions! Inventory includes books for kids and adults, toys, local art, cards, stocking stuffers, and more! Museum memberships are also available and make great family gifts. Stop in and check out the selection today!

Winter Hours

2020-09-28 00:00:00

Although it's not quite winter yet, PTRM will be switching over to winter hours starting on September 29. Winter hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm. 

Alley Construction

2020-08-20 00:00:00

We have exciting news! Construction is starting on the walkway to connect the main museum building with the east building, directly across the alley. This project has been in the works for a number of years and we're so happy to finally be able to move forward with it! Because of this construction the south entrance to the alley is now closed. The north entrance to the alley from 1st St. NE will remain open for access to the Frontier Room. 

Free Admission

2020-08-11 00:00:00

Join us for free admission and a sale this Saturday, August 15! Take a mini-vacation and visit your local museum before school starts up again! Visitors will get in free all day long and select gift shop items will be on sale, so you won't want to miss it!

PTRM is Open Again!

2020-05-19 00:00:00

Starting May, 19, 2020, PTRM is once again open to the public! We ask that visitors practice social distancing and limit group size to 10 people or less. We are not allowing children under 12 to visit without an adult. The Reading Room and Frontier Room are currently still closed to the public. We also encourage visitors to take the CDC's recommendation to wear a face covering during their visit and ask that you stay home if you are feeling unwell. These policies are in place until further notice and are subject to change. If you have any questions, please contact museum staff. 

2020-04-29 00:00:00

With Friday being what would normally be the beginning of our summer season, we wanted to let you all know that we will not be opening to the public on May 1 and will continue to be closed at least until May 15, at which point we will re-evaluate. Due to the nature of our business and considering that many of our staff and volunteers fall into a high risk category, we have decided to remain closed while we continue to implement new policies and procedures to keep everyone safe. We appreciate your support and patience while we work toward a safe re-opening. Staff will continue to be available via phone (701-523-3600), email (, and Facebook during regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm). Please contact us if you need us and we'll continue to do our best to serve you remotely.

2020-04-20 00:00:00

Bowman County Historical Society Board of Directors Regular Monthly Meeting Rescheduled to April 21, 2020.

Due to the coronavirus, the public is invited to attend remotely via Zoom:


Topic: PTRM Board Meeting

Time: April 21, 2020 06:30 pm Mountain Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom meeting:


or via phone:

 +1 253 215 8782 US or  +1 301 715 8592 US

Meeting ID: 910 3557 1461

COVID-19 Response

2020-03-16 00:00:00

Out of an abundance of caution, PTRM will be closed to the public until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and visitors is of utmost importance to us. Staff will be in during normal business hours (M-F, 10 am - 4 pm), so feel free to reach out to us via phone (701-523-3600), email (, or Facebook, and we'll do our best to help you remotely. We did not make this decision lightly, and we appreciate your continued support and understanding at this time. We look forward to when we're able to reopen and see you all again!

Donation Drop Off

2019-11-18 00:00:00

This is just a friendly reminder that the museum will not accept donations dropped off outside the front door when we're not open. If you have an item you would like to donate, please contact us so we can discuss whether or not it's appropriate for our collection. Thank you!

SW Regional Museum Meeting Postponed

2019-10-10 00:00:00

The Southwest Regional Museum Meeting being hosted at PTRM has been postponed due to weather. The meeting will now take place on October 26th. 

History Day Open House and ATV Tour

2019-05-15 00:00:00

Join us for a two day local history event right here in Bowman, North Dakota!

On Saturday, June 8, 2019, Pioneer Trails Regional Museum will host an open house to debut the new Trails Display and the Merle Clark Memorial Theater.  The museum will be open from 9 am to 6 pm, with free admission all day. In the afternoon, join us at City Hall across the street to hear from four speakers around the "Trials of Southwestern North Dakota and the Surrounding Area." The speakers will begin at 1 pm starting with Clay Landry discussing "The Fur Trade, Hugh Glass, & the movie 'Revenant'" followed by Francie Berg talking about "Buffalo Trails in the Dakota Buttes." Following a short break, Doug Wurtz will speak at 3 pm on the "Galvanized Yankees at Fort Rice, DT, and PTRM's own Dean Pearson will end the day with a presentation on "Historic Area Trails, 1743-1891." 

Then, on Sunday, June 9, 2019 PTRM will be hosting the 2nd Annual ATV History Tour. This 99 mile ATV ride brings trail riding and history together. Spend the day in the great outdoors with other outdoor enthusiasts and learn about the rich history of our local area. Registration is $50/person and is limited to 40 vehicles. For more information or to register, contact the museum. 

We look forward to seeing you in June!

Book Talk and Signing with Tom Isern

2018-12-03 00:00:00

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.

Holiday Schedule

2018-11-20 00:00:00

Happy Holidays from PTRM!

We will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23. We hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday, and we hope to see you all again next week!

Raku Pottery Firing

2018-07-23 00:00:00

Join us, along with the Bowman Regional Public Library, at the museum on Saturday, July 28th between 9 am and 3 pm for a unique community art experience! Handmade pots will be available (for a free-will donation) to glaze and fire, part of the live demonstrations of the Raku process. All proceeds will be split between the museum and the library. We hope you'll join us for this fun and creative demonstration!

ATV Trails Tour

2018-05-14 00:00:00

1 Day. 120 Miles. 14 Historic Sites.

Join us for a guided tour of trails across Bowman and Slope Counties and learn more about the rich history of the area. A stop at the historic HT Ranch will also be included on the tour. Lunch will be provided.

Registration is $50/person and must be paid to insure your spot. Registration is non-refundable and open until May 29th, on a first come, first served basis (limited to 50 participants).

Participants will be required to sign a liability waiver to protect the landowners on the tour, but must carry their own insurance and liability for both the vehicle and all passengers.

Participants are encouraged to bring along additional fuel as long as it is securely hauled on their own vehicle. Trucks with trailers will be along in case of a breakdown.

On the June 2nd tour, only ATV, UTV, and ORVs will be allowed. More information on a bus tour will be available soon.

To register please contact the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum at 523-3600

2018 Annual Meeting

2018-01-02 00:00:00

The Bowman County Historical & Genealogical Society's Annual Meeting will be held on January 9, 2018 at 5:30 pm in the Frontier Room. Officers and new board members will be elected and the budget for 2018 finalized. The meeting is open to the public, and any members of the society are welcome to nominate and vote. 

Holiday Shopping

2017-11-16 00:00:00

The holiday season is upon us! Keep Pioneer Trails Regional Museum Gift Shop in mind as you do your holiday shopping. Looking for some stocking stuffers? Check out our selection of key chains, playing cards, shot glasses, and small toys! Need something for the kids in your life? We have lots of stuffed toys, games, and kids books! Have a bookworm in the family? The gift shop has a large selection of books on a number of different topics! Want to give something beautiful and unique? Shop our local art! Need a hostess gift or something small for a work party? Our selection of Native American Tea and Dakota Seasonings Syrups make great gifts that can be used up! We have something for everyone, so be sure to stop in and see us for all your holiday gift needs!

Retirement Party

2017-09-22 00:00:00

The public is invited to attend a retirement party in recognition of Merle Clark and his 26 years as a board member and volunteer at the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum. The party will be held on Sunday, October 8, 2017 from 2-5 pm in the museum's Frontier Room (please use the alley entrance). Help us celebrate Merle's many years of service!

25 Years of PTRM!

2017-06-19 00:00:00

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Pioneer Trails Regional Museum, and we're throwing a party to celebrate! Please join us on Saturday, June 24th to mark this occasion! There will be free admission all day, with pie, refreshments, and kids games in the afternoon. Be some of the first people to see the new exhibits and sign up for a door prize. We hope to see you there!

North Dakota High School Rodeo Finals

2017-06-06 00:00:00

This week, the citizens and businesses of Bowman welcome judges, contestants, and fans from across the state to the North Dakota High School Rodeo Finals for the 29th time.

The National High School Rodeo Association started with Claude Mullins, a Texas educator whose original idea led to the Texas State High School Championship Rodeo that was first held in 1947, drawing contestants from across the state. This was followed by similar rodeos in New Mexico in 1948, and in Louisiana, Montana, and South Dakota in 1949. In August of 1949, the National High School Rodeo Association was officially formed at their first national finals, held in Hallettsville, Texas.

North Dakota joined the National High School Rodeo Association in 1951, and the state finals were held in cities around the state. In 1987, Bowman threw its hat in the ring, bidding against other towns such as Bismarck, Dickinson, Killdeer, and New Salem for the honor of hosting the finals in 1988, and won. Every three years, the North Dakota High School Rodeo Association accepts bids and selects the site for the finals, and Bowman has been chosen every cycle since 1987.

For more information on the National High School Rodeo Association, visit For more information on North Dakota High School Rodeo Finals visit And to get more information on Bowman, please visit

We here at Pioneer Trails Regional Museum are excited to welcome all the rodeo contestants and fans to Bowman, and hope you’ll take some time and come visit us!

Bowman Creamery

2017-05-23 00:00:00

As we've been preparing our new exhibits here at PTRM, I've been spending some time in our collection storage areas, looking for items for the new displays. Recently I ran into a couple of these old ice cream containers for Bowman Maid Ice Cream, produced by the Bowman Creamery. I began searching for more information on the creamery, and found, much to my surprise, that we don't seem to have any! 

If you, or anyone you know, has any information on the Bowman Creamery, we'd really appreciate if you'd share it with us. Call us, send an email, or stop in and let us know what you remember! 


Library Ladies

2017-04-03 00:00:00

Did you know that without the women of Bowman, we wouldn’t have the Bowman Regional Public Library? In 1913, twenty-one ladies met to discuss the possibilities of beginning a library in Bowman, with Mrs. Diehl presiding as chairwoman. Shortly after the first meeting a committee was appointed to draw up a constitution and by-laws, which were adopted on July 11 of 1917.

The Library Association was given a room above the Herzig Meat Market, and donations of coal, kindling, cash, a library sign, and library books were taken in. By July 25 of that year, 150 books had been donated. In 1915, a building was built and given to the Library Association by J.E. Phelan. By May 1919, the library went on a “taxation basis” and the Library Association was dissolved.

There have been many changes at the library since that first group of women got together in 1913, but without them, and the many others who have contributed throughout the years, we might not have such a great library today!

If you want to learn more about the Bowman Regional Public Library, stop in and see them, or check out their website,! 

Women in Health

2017-03-24 00:00:00

This week’s Women’s History Month post is not about one particular woman, but a group of women who helped keep Bowman healthy and well-taken care of before the Tri-State Hospital was built, or even conceived.

Sometime in 1909, Bowman’s first hospital was built. It was opened by Doctors George and David Baker, but was taken over by Miss Callie Pruett when the doctors left town. Pruett operated this first hospital for several years.

In 1920, Mrs. Minnie Norem operated a maternity home out of her house, and in 1928 another hospital was opened on Main Street by Doctors Cornelius and Lemiuex, which was run by Martha Meyer. This hospital lasted only a year, and was closed in July 1929. In August of that year, another hospital was opened in the Lowden home, and Violet Kline was in charge. She operated it for about six months, then Helen Kaiser, a registered nurse from Miles City took over.’

Martha Meyer took over running another hospital in 1932, above the Bennett Drug Store. From 1933-1935, Martha Sather and Myrtle Heid (both registered nurses) operated a hospital out of the William Austin house. Following that (from 1936 and several years after), Bowman’s health was looked after by Mrs. Jake Messer, Mrs. Manning Newstrom, and Mrs. Gerald Padgett, who all take maternity cases into their own homes. In 1951, the Tri-State Hospital was opened, and the need for house hospitals disappeared. It should be noted, however, that the first operators of the Tri-State Hospital were The Benedictine Sisters, who ran the hospital for the first five years of its operation.

It’s easy to take for granted the women who worked so hard to keep residents of Bowman healthy for so many years, since they weren’t doctors. Nevertheless, their contribution to the area is significant and they should not be forgotten. 

In honor of Women's History Month, each week of March we will feature a brief story on a woman (or women) in history with a connection to our local area. If you know of someone we should write about, or would like more information, call or stop by the museum and let us know!

Kate Richards O'Hare

2017-03-17 00:00:00

Kate Richards O’Hare (1876-1948) was an American Socialist Party activist, most well known for her imprisonment during WWI. As the leader of the American Socialist Party’s Committee on War and Militarism, she delivered many speeches against the United States’ involvement in WWI across the nation.

On July 17, 1917, O’Hare was in Bowman speaking out against the war, when she said, “Any person who enlisted in the army of the United States for service in France would be used for fertilizer and that is all that he is good for,” and “The women of the United States were nothing more or less than brood sows to raise children to get into the army and be made into fertilizer.” These statements were enough to land her in a federal penitentiary. She was arrested for violating the Espionage Act of 1917, which criminalized interfering with the recruitment and enlistment of military personnel.

In December of 1917, O’Hare’s trial was held in Bismarck, where many Bowman citizens were called as witnesses for both sides of the case. During the trial, O’Hare contended that Jim Phelan, Bowman County banker and political boss was upset over business competition from the Nonpartisan League and was responsible for her arrest. She was convicted on the charge of willfully obstructing the U.S. enlistment services, and sentenced to five years in the Missouri State Penitentiary. There were no federal penitentiaries for women at that time.

Though O’Hare arrived in Missouri in April 1919, her sentence was commuted by President Woodrow Wilson in 1920, after a nationwide campaign for her release. She was later fully pardoned by President Calvin Coolidge. After her release from prison, O’Hare led the “Children’s Crusade” which was a cross country march to convince President Warren Harding to release others convicted under the Espionage Act of 1917. With the support of the new ACLU, the women and children marchers stood at the gates of the White House for nearly two months, before President Harding agreed to meet with them. This meeting led to the release of many of the prisoners convicted under the Espionage Act.

O’Hare continued to be involved in politics, but her notoriety gradually faded. She became an esteemed penal reform advocate, and even served as an assistant director of the California Department of Penology in 1939-1940.  

In honor of Women's History Month, each week of March we will feature a brief story on a woman (or women) in history with a connection to our local area. If you know of someone we should write about, or would like more information, call or stop by the museum and let us know!

Buffalo Bird Woman

2017-03-10 00:00:00

Buffalo Bird Woman (1839-1932) was a Hidatsa woman born along the Knife River. In 1845, her people moved upstream and built Like-A- Fishhook Village; a village her people shared with the Mandan and Arikara. It was there that Buffalo Bird Woman, known in Hidatsa as Maxidiwiac, became an expert gardener. She and other women in her tribe used centuries old agricultural practices to grow corn, beans, squash, and sunflowers in the bottomlands of the Missouri River. In the mid-1880s, new government policies forced the breakup of Buffalo Bird Woman’s village and dispersed families onto individual allotments on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Despite the many hardships the Native Americans faced, the Hidatsa women continued to grow the vegetables that have proven to be some of the most important crops for Midwestern farmers.

In 1916, Gilbert L. Wilson began gathering information from Buffalo Bird Woman, transcribing her wealth of knowledge on gardening. She described for him field care and preparation, planting, harvesting, processing, and storing vegetables. She also provided him with recipes for cooking traditional Hidatsa dishes, and traditional songs and ceremonies to insure a successful harvest. In 1917, Wilson published this information as a book called Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians: An Indian Interpretation. The title was later changed to Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden.

Buffalo Bird Woman’s methods stand the test of time, as it provides modern gardeners with methods free from pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden is available in print, ebook, and also for free on the University of Pennsylvania Digital Library ( 

In honor of Women's History Month, each week of March we will feature a brief story on a woman (or women) in history with a connection to our local area. If you know of someone we should write about, or would like more information, call or stop by the museum and let us know!

Fanny Kelly

2017-03-02 00:00:00

In May of 1864, 19-year-old Fanny Kelly and her husband Josiah set out from Kansas to Montana in a small train of five wagons. On July 12, the wagon train was attacked by 100 Teton Dakota warriors, killing four and wounding two. The women and children were all taken captive.

Within a few days, the other woman and the children were able to escape, but Kelly was caught and was forced to remain with her captors for five months, enduring grueling conditions, being beaten, and performing hard labor in the household that held her captive. She also survived the battles at Killdeer Mountain and Fort Dilts.

Kelly might have been released at Fort Dilts, but Captain James Fisk didn’t follow through on negotiations, and she was forced to travel on with her captors. Throughout her captivity, her husband sent gifts through messengers to try to convince her captors to release her, but to no avail. She was eventually traded to Brings Plenty, who gave her the honorable name “Real Woman.”

Kelly was finally released on December 12, 1864 at Fort Sully, after surviving months of hardship. She was reunited with her husband, Josiah, who unfortunately succumbed to cholera a mere three years later, just before the birth of their child.

Kelly went on to publish a memoir of her time in captivity in 1870, titled: Narrative of My Captivity Among the Sioux Indians. She died in 1904.

While not much is known about her life after the publication of her book, what we do know proves that Fanny Kelly was an extraordinary woman. To learn more about her time in captivity, check out her book, available for sale at the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum. And be sure to check out our exhibits on the Battle of Killdeer Mountain and Fort Dilts.

Special thanks to the North Dakota Studies Program for the information on Mrs. Kelly.

In honor of Women's History Month, each week of March we will feature a brief story on a woman (or women) in history with a connection to our local area. If you know of someone we should write about, or would like more information, call or stop by the museum and let us know!

Community Forum

2017-02-08 00:00:00

Join the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation Scholar Clay Jenkinson for a project update and informal discussion about the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library. Thursday, February 9th 6-7:30PM at the Bowman Regional Public Library! Refreshments will be served.

Looking for Quilts!

2017-01-17 00:00:00

PTRM is in search of quilts, made by local quilters, to hang and showcase on a 6-month rotating basis in the Frontier Room. If you or someone you know would be interested in being a part of this project, please contact the museum.

Annual Meeting

2017-01-05 00:00:00

The 2017 Bowman County Historical & Genealogical Society Annual Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 10th at 5:30 pm in the Frontier Room. The Board of Directors will be presenting the 2017 budget, setting short and long term goals, and electing new board members. This meeting is open to the public and all paid members of the Historical Society are invited to attend and vote on all issues.

Three board member positions are open this year. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining the Board of Directors, contact the museum.

May Hours

9 am - 5 pm
Monday through Friday

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