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The original item was published from 3/13/2018 7:57:00 PM to 3/13/2018 8:04:36 PM.

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Posted on: March 13, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Rescuing Double Ditch State Historic Site Event

Double Ditch

A couple years before Christopher Columbus accidentally encountered an unknown land mass on his way to India, a band of Native American people took up residence on a bluff overlooking a mighty water course, now called the Missouri River, about 10 miles upriver from the future site of Bismarck, N. D.  Roughly 300 years later, these Native Americans abandoned the village and moved further upstream, leaving behind 300 years of historical and archeological treasures including artifacts, earthen structures, cache pits, samples of foodstuffs, tools, and burial sites of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of beloved ancestors.

Among the properties ravaged by the rampaging waters of the 2011 Missouri River flood, was one of the Bismarck area’s most important historical and archeological sites, the Double Ditch Indian Village State Historic Site, located about 10 miles north of Bismarck on highway 1804.  Although the site sits on a bluff high above the river, the flooding so damaged the toe of the river bank, that massive chunks of soil from the bluff sloughed down into the river and literally devoured several hundred feet of the land which separated the site from the river and created additional fissures which threatened further damage to the site.

Since the flood, the State of North Dakota, through the efforts of the legislative, executive and judicial branches, guided by the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, and several excellent and innovative planning and construction companies, have planned, funded, and completed a magnificent rescue and rehabilitation project to save and even enhance this very significant cultural site.

On Wednesday, March 14th, Fern Swenson, Director of the State Historical Society of North Dakota’s Archeology and Historic Preservation Division will present the story of this amazing salvage effort complete with photographic images of the before, during and after phases of the project.

The public is invited.  Refreshments will be served. Reservations are not required.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
6:30 P.M.
Meeting Room A,
Bismarck Veterans’ Memorial Public Library
515 5th Street Bismarck, North Dakota

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