Today is a massive day for North Dakota and Grand Forks. The North Dakota State Historical Society has today listed as the day the railroad reached Grand Forks in 1880. It was a crucial turning point in the history of Grand Forks and our state too. Grand Forks was a little town with a population of just a few hundred people when the railroad arrived.

TSM Media Center
TSM Media Center
Train Locomotive

As a quicker and more effective means of moving people and products, the railroad opened up new prospects for trade and commerce in Grand Forks, and eventually throughout the state. As people from all over the nation came to the city to take advantage of the new opportunities the railroad offered, it also resulted in an influx of new citizens. That event alone back in 1880 is exactly what we experienced in western North Dakota when the last oil boom arrived. Can you imagine what it was like to deal with that many people coming to Grand Forks back in 1880?

Grand Forks underwent a period of extremely fast expansion and lots of development as a result of the railroad's arrival, with new enterprises and industries sprouting up in the city. Because it made it easier for people to get to and from the area, the railroad was also crucial in the settlement of the area around it.

In general, the introduction of the railroad in Grand Forks in 1880 was a significant turning point in the history of the city and the state and highly affected North Dakota's development. Now as you are sitting around the house this weekend, you can talk about this interesting nugget of North Dakota history.

You can see all the interesting dates about North Dakota here.

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Not in North Dakota, but fun to look at these pieces of history.

Train Car Graveyard in Escanaba


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