Jamestown’s “claim to fame” is “The World’s Largest Buffalo”, a cement sculpture that stands 26’ tall, 46’ long and weighs 60 ton. The statue, built in 1959, was the vision of Harold Newman, the owner and founder of Newman Signs in Jamestown. As the years passed, a number of old buildings were moved in and eventually an old Frontier Town culminated, now known as the Frontier Village. Harold Newman’s vision, “to create something so, big and magnificent, that passersby would have to stop in the city”, was definitely realized. Today, the Frontier Village, in which the “World’s Largest Buffalo” and the National Buffalo Museum are located, attracts over 100,000 people each year.
The Frontier Village complex features a post office, a trading post which houses a souvenir shop, a saloon, a fire department, barber shop, jail, sheriffs office, Louis L’Amour writers shack, and much more. The states oldest grocery store was moved to the complex from Eldridge, a small town 15 miles west of Jamestown. The store was built in 1878 and now features a gift shop and an old fashioned soda fountain during the summer months.
During the summer months the Frontier Village seems to come alive. All of the buildings are open to the public, stagecoach and pony rides are available, and many other activities occur during the Memorial Day to Labor Day open season.
A Short History of the Frontier Village
This Building was donated and repaired by the Kiwanis Club of Jamestown. The two steel Jail Cells came from Mayville, N.D.
The Print Shop
Houses an old Printing Press and a display that was opened in 1988 Honoring Louis Lamour.
Kirkpatrick Art Gallery
This building was built by Ila and J.A. Kirkpatrick to be used as an art gallery. J.A. Kirkpatrick was a local western artist. He is listed in the Cowboy Artist Hal of Fame in Oklahoma City. It was among the first buildings in the Village area.
The Dentist’s Office
Was originally used as a fire hall display building. It was built by a local fireman. It has since been remodeled and used for display by the local Dental Association.
The building was a small home in the S.E. part of Jamestown, originally covered with tar paper. It was rebuilt and now holds the Windsor Post Office Boxes which date back to 1894.
Originally located in Kensel, N.D. and was an actual Insurance Office. It was purchased and moved to the Village by Bob Moran.
The Depot was built in 1880. It was the first Northern Pacific Depot in Jamestown. From 1916 until about 1957, it was used by the Midland Continental Railroad. It was then used as a storage building until 1965, when it was donated and moved to the Village.
Northern Pacific Railroad
Railroad Look- out Tower
Donated to the Village by the Northern Pacific Depot in Jamestown. Formerly located off Main Street and controlled traffic cross arms.
This building was moved to the Village in 1984. A major donation from the Jamestown Jaycees helped provide for the moving expense. This house was formerly located near downtown Jamestown.
Double Log Cabins
Originally part of the Log Cabin Motel at the base of Mill Hill, they were a gift from the Jamestown Knights of Columbus in 1977. They moved to the village in 1978.
A donation from Jim and Joyce Lusk in 1978.
Built in 1898. It was donated to the Village by Orville and Lillian Iverson in 1967. At one point in its life it was used as a grain bin.
From the Midland Continental.
This area is planted and cared for by the Prairie Pose Garden Club of Jamestown.
The School was built in Sinclair Township in 1910. In 1965, it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Reese Hawkins and donated to the Frontier Village, The building was moved to the site by the Chamber of Commerce and was the First building moved to the Village. It is furnished and maintained by the American Association of University Women.
This building was originally built as a school in Eldridge, N.D. in 1881. In 1920, it was sold to the Eldridge Lutheran Church Congregation and remodeled into a church. It was sold and moved to Millarton in 1936. It was moved to the Village in 1965.
Log Building (Rest rooms)
This building was built in 1967-1968 by the Ottertail Power Company and Bell Telephone Company employees. It was dedicated on May 4, 1968
The Village Trader
This building was originally owned by the railroad. The building was moved to the village in 1969 from downtown Jamestown.
Law Office and Doll House
This building came from Woodworth, N.D. It was the Feton’s Lumber Office. The Law Office display is on loan from David Nething and Grace Ottmar. The Doll House is a collection of dolls purchased by the Jamestown Eagles for display at the Frontier Village.
This building was donated by the Jamestown Fire Department in 1978. The International Pumper Truck dates back to 1929. It was stationed at the North Dakota State Hospital.
Erected as a monument to commemorate the vast herds of buffalo that once roamed the prairies of North America. The buffalo was sculpted by Elmer Peterson, a former Jamestown College Art Instructor. The project was funded by the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce and the Jamestown City Council at a cost of about $10,000. The World’s Largest Buffalo was officially dedicated by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1960.