Tourism in the Hettinger Area
DAKOTA BUTTES MUSEUM - 400 11th St - just West of the Armory - open Sun - Tues - Thurs  1 to 4pm from
Memorial Day - mid September or by appointment - call 701-567-4429        2016 EVENT POSTER
"Ordinary things . . . for an extraordinary experience!"

Do not miss the DAKOTA BUTTES MUSEUM, a complex of four newly redesigned and
refurbished buildings and outdoor exhibits displaying over a century of life and times in
Adams County and southwestern North Dakota. Located in southeast Hettinger, ND, at
400 11th St. South just west of the Armory, the museum houses a rare, horse-drawn fire
truck and hose cart, as well as a memorable collection of early Twentieth Century farm
machinery, railroad memorabilia, early and mid-century vehicles, and extensive wall
displays of Bucyrus, Haynes, Hettinger, Reeder and added in 2015 Lodgepole.

See the HALL OF FLAGS, a display highlighting the homesteaders’ ethnic
backgrounds. See over 350 photographs of first and second generation residents.
See the Titanic Survivor display, Judge Sonderall’s Land Office and the recreation of
the early Adams County Record building, in addition to displays on the county Court
House, military service and sacrifice, churches, areas businesses, home life, school
and community music and sports, health care on the prairie the Yellowstone Trail,
Custer's Campground along Hiddenwood Creek and
Special Summer 2016 Events & Exhibits include:
         Memorial Day Program @10am with FREE meal & Pot Luck Dessert, Borderline Singers article  flyer
Schools Welcome

9 - Hole Grass Green Golf Course  
Hettinger's 9-Hole grass green golf course is municipally owned by the Hettinger Park
Board and is located 4 miles south of the city.  The golf course is open year round,
weather permitting and is open to the public.  The Club House is open during the
evening summer hours.  Golf carts are available to rent. 
For more information, please contact the Hettinger Golf
Course at 567-2339.  The course celebrated their
50th Anniversary in the summer of 2011.

Hunting & Fishing
The Hettinger Area offers outstanding fishing and upland and big game hunting.  Game
and wildlife are abundant in the Hettinger area. Big game, such as white tail deer, mule
deer and antelope can be located easily. Waterfowl of many species and upland game
birds such as the sharptail grouse, Hungarian partridge and the majestic ring neck
pheasant are also plentiful.. The Pheasant Fest Committee provides numerous contests
to local hunters (both pheasant and deer) along with connections to local services that
may be needed.   click here for local hunting information sheet


Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake Park, located on the south end of Main Street,
offers modern camping facilities with full hook-ups, bandshell
with dance floor, non-motor boating, fishing, large playground
area,a walking /running path around the lake, and the
Centennial Fountain.


Relive the Last Great Buffalo Hunts
In one of the last historic hunts, 2,000 Teton Lakota
Sioux - men, women,  children - left Fort Yates on
June 10, 1882, and trekked the 100  west to the
valley of Hiddenwood Creek.  In three days they
killed 5,000 buffalo. This "great hunt" began near
what is now Haynes, and extended west into the
Hettinger area and perhaps north to the Cedar River.
At night the Teton Lakota families feasted, danced
and listened to stories of courage and victory told by famed war leaders and hunters.

At the time it was not known that the 50,000 buffalo grazing here were the last remnants
of an estimated 60 to 75 million bison that once ranged across the western plains of North
America. The southern herd was gone by the mid 1870s. The northern herd, which had left
Dakota Territory 15 years earlier, split in southeastern Montana. Half went north of Miles
City and were soon killed by white hide hunters.

The other half returned to this part of Dakota Territory, then reservation land. Indian elders
said the buffalo returned to fulfill their destiny to once again provide food, clothing and shelter
for their starving Indian brothers and sisters, rather than be slaughtered for their hides alone,
by white hunters.

Reprinted from the booklet "The Last Great Buffalo Hunts"
by Francie Berg, (booklet is currently out of print but expanded
rewrite of the book is being done)



Several locations in and around Hettinger offer opportunities for productive birding. Over 230 species have been recorded around Mirror Lake which is adjacent to the town of Hettinger. A local birding booklet "Griffiths'' Guide to Western Dakota Birding" is available at the Chamber Office for $5.00 (plus $2 for shipping & handling).


Along the Yellowstone Trail - from "Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound"
A feature article in the Bismarck Tribune September 13, 2010 written by Lauren Donovan,
shares a bit of the history of this trail as is wound through Adams County of North Dakota. 
Click here for the complete article.
Permission granted by Lauren Donovan and Bismarck Tribune

The Yellowstone Trail Association Then . . .and Now - Information taken from
On April 23, 1912, Joe Parmley of Ipswich, South Dakota, held a meeting that he had had in mind for years. He gathered influential men from five nearby counties to implement the first step in his long-range plan to get a transcontinental route built across the northern tier of states - 3700 miles, give or take.  This group grew into a formal organization, the Yellowstone Trail Association, on October 9, 1912 at Lemmon, South Dakota.

Why was there a need for groups of private citizens to form to get roads built?  Because neither state nor federal governments had any interest in building roads.  The federal government was supporting railroads, not auto roads, and many states had constitutions that forbade “internal improvements.” As a result, roads were mere wagon paths, and mud was everywhere.  In the East, roads were better because of higher traffic and greater choice of route. But they, too, suffered.  There were many trail associations but only three were transcontinental - National Old Trails Road (1912), Yellowstone Trail (1912) and Lincoln Highway (1913).
The Yellowstone Trail Association accomplished many forward-looking things.  They did not actually build roads; they badgered county boards and state highway commissions to create one long, connected road through counties instead of supporting roads that “went nowhere.”  Long, connected roads were their passion.  They sponsored Trail Days, (a day when all Trail towns would actually help the county build a road), set up travel bureaus, held races on the Trail for publicity, supplied the traveler with maps, weather conditions and lists of facilities in Trail towns.
The Association also encouraged towns to provide campgrounds for tourists.

The less obvious result of this transcontinental route was its “uniting” aspect.  One Trail running the length of the country caused folk to feel connected and anxious to keep their part of the chain in shape.  The Trail opened the vast, beautiful Northwest to the tourist, be he rich or poor.

The Yellowstone Trail Association Now
The new Yellowstone Trail Association was formed in October, 2003 to: increase public knowledge about the Trail, to acquire information about the Trail and its historical context  to preserve artifacts along the Trail, to provide a medium of communication and support among members, to promote heritage tourism and to sponsor Trail-related events.

The Yellowstone Trail Centennial Year was 2012


Thanks to Bob Hall for the pictures - Click on Pictures to enlarge
Pictures show only a glimpse of what is displayed at Dakota Buttes Museum located at 400 11th St S
Open Sun. Tues. & Thurs afternoons Memorial Day thru Labor Day - Admission is a donation
Stop by for a Visit!


Keeping the Buffalo Dream Alive  -  Mount unveiled on July 3, 2010
    In September of 2008, interested persons from the area and from outside the area were invited to
become part of a dream to honor the American bison by donating to the Dakota Buttes Museum’s Buffalo
Heritage Project.
    Spearheaded by a committee from the county and the trade area, the goal of this project was to have
on display in the museum, a full-sized buffalo bull mount. This mount represents the legendary creatures
of the Northern Great Plains who once roamed the area in numberless herds.  Through direct donations
and through the “Trophy Hunt of a Lifetime” won by a Grafton, ND, hunter, by December of 2008 the
financial goal set by the committee was surpassed.
     Local buffalo ranchers Jim Strand and Don Archibald were instrumental in locating and donating the
2,000 lb animal.
    After the hunt in early January, Dakota Packing Company of Hettinger salted and cured the hide.
Later, with the help of local national award winning taxidermist Randy Holler and others, it was packed
and shipped to the tanner.  Randy purchased the necessary forms, cast the hooves completed the mount
which is displayed on a movable, naturalized
    Unveiling of the mount took place on Saturday July 3, 2010.  A contest was held to choose a name
with the winning name being "Prairie Thunder".  Photos of various steps of the project will be archived at
the museum and displayed here following the unveiling. 
   The committee is also working on historical display boards to complement the mount and on the
presentation of the donor list.
    To all who have helped so far on any of the steps of this project, thank you. To any who would still like
to donate, please send your earmarked donations to Dakota Buttes Historical Society, Betty Svihovec,
Treasurer, PO Box 565, Hettinger, ND 58639.
    Let’s keep the dream alive. 
additional informationunveiling story - complements of Adams County Record                                                                                                                                                                                        
pictures compliments of Becky Qualls of Adams County Record

March 18, 2012 Soup Wars was enjoyed by all in attendance
Many people turned out for the Soup Wars event held at the former Reeder School.  The carnival atmosphere included theme related booths set up by those providing soup, games for the children, clowns, face painting and the display in the entrance advertising the upcoming Smithsonian display.

Overall THEME prize was won by Dakota Western Bank: Lori Privratsky, Shelly Froelich, Dorothy Becker and Michelle Steen.

Overall SOUP prize winner was West River Health Services: Arlene Walch and Juana Gross. 

Pictures taken by Heather Ebert

Hettinger Area Chamber of Commerce
Adams County Development Corp.
120 S Main Street
Quick links to other tourist information:   Dakota West Adventures     Dickinson Convention & Visitors     Bowman Paleontological Program     DiscoverND    Dakota Dinosaur Museum     Grand River Museum - Lemmon     Fort Mandan & Lewis and Clark Center     Medora Musical
ND Heritage Center    Mount Rushmore National Monument     ND Tourism    SD Tourism    Medora    Unique Antique Auto Museum
Overlooking the "Last Great Buffalo Hunt Site"
along Hwy 12 about
12 miles East of Hettinger near mile marker 86. 

Site was also a Gen. George Custer "Encampment Site".
This page was last updated: October 5, 2016
Getting the mount in place for the event outside the museumComments by Bonnie Smith member of committee responsible for the buffalo projectBonnie Smith & Loren Luckow present jacket to Randy Holler to express their thanksRandy Holler, national award winning taxidermist, shares with the crowd a bit of his work on the buffaloMoving buffalo mount into Dakota Buttes Museum"Prarie Thunder"  now on display inside Dakota Buttes MuseumBeseler Sisters perform during the July 3rd event outside the Museum"Lucky" pet buffalo of Jim Strand could be petted by the crowd during the event
ND Historical Society Grant helped fund the project at the
"Last Great Buffalo Hunts" roadside site
Tipi added to site on June 23, 2010
Click here for story of setting up the tipi at the "Last Great Buffalo Hunt Roadside Site along Hwy 12 about 8 miles east of Hettinger which appeared in the July 16, 2010 issue of Adams County Record.  Story written by Becky Qualls -  Picture Credits: Becky Qualls
Yellowstone Trail as it went through Adams County including Haynes, Hettinger & Reeder - map also shows current US Hwy 12  - Picture courtesy of The Bismarck TribuneYellowstone Trail Marker in Haynes, ND - Picture courtesy of The Bismarck Tribune
Click for
Lodging Dining Campgrounds
in Adams County

HISTORIC SITE  - 12 Miles E of Hettinger
                                   on US Hwy 12

                                       Scroll down for                more information about the site

Dakota Buttes Visitors Council
Promotional materials are available for pick-up at
the office in Hettinger's Centennial Square
120 S Main St.
Click here for Mark Mowbray's blog of his 5,943 mile trip over 34 days along the Yellowstone Trail including his visit to Hettinger on July 3, 2011 .  Mark is Executive Director of the Yellowstone Trail Association
The Dakota Buttes Museum
400 11th Street South
Hettinger ND
Open Late May thru Mid September
Sun - Tues - Thurs
1-4pm or by appointment
Admission: Donation
Dakota Buttes Historical Society Museum Anniversary Celebration - July 3, 2011
The event featured a Cupcake Celebration, free ice cream and drinks as well as musical entertainment by John Lewis and the Hettinger Cowboy Band.
People visitingCupcakes GaloreEnjoying refreshmentsClowns!Entertainment by Hettinger Cowboy BandEntertainment by John LewisAntique hand toolsCaps & Antique Vchurch ehiclesChurch Furnishings from the pastDouble decker displayAntique farm equipmentHistory of Bucyrus wallPioneer room displaysView from aboveRural schoolhouseInside the rural schoolhouseYellowstone Trail displayMark Mowbray of Yellowstone Trail Asssociation just happened to pass through Hettinger & stopped in for the celebration
Scroll to the bottom of page for Past Museum Stories & Pictures

Dakota Buttes Museum
PO Box 1273
Hettinger, ND 58639
Buy a Soup Bowl for $5 - sample as much soup as you wish!Pies Galore - $1 for 1 inch sliceBorscht SoupMexican ChiliThank you to Committee MembersPot O'Gold Kneophla SoupGomer Pyle Vegetable SoupFunky SoupSign up for Door Prizes!Cast Your Vote for Best Soup & Best Soup DisplayFace PaintingClowns!Trophy The CrowdCheesy Corn ChowderSpicey Chicken Taco SoupDutch SoupCorn ChowderMustago SoupChicken ChiliCarnival
Yellowstone Trail marker in Hettinger's Centennial Square
Area Hunting  Information Sheet
125th Celebration of North Dakota and South Dakota Statehood June 16, 2014 - Hettinger Armory
2016 Hettinger Chamber Brochure
2015 Memorial Day at the Museum left its mark   by Bonnie Smith

    From little ones to great-grandparents in a standing-room-only crowd, the first-ever "Memorial Day at the Museum" collaboration between Hettinger's American Legion Johnson-Melary Post #115 and the Dakota Buttes Historical Society/Museum (DBHS/M) left an indelible mark.
   Surrounded by 25 American flags and 24 large, vintage World War I posters in building two of the museum in addition to museum vehicles and displays, new and long-standing community members gathered on Monday, May 25, 2015, to pay tribute to the many who have served in our country's military and to the many who have died in defense of our freedoms
    "The setting was fitting," said Magnus Maier, "so appropriate for bringing people together. It reminded us of our past and of our future."
   Members of the American Legion Post began the day-long remembrances and festivities with their traditional Memorial Day Service at 10:00 am led by Post Commander Jay Skaarvold. After the Presentation of Colors by Vice Commander John Jahner and Staff Sergeant Rochelle "Rocky" Hiatt, the group joined in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, led by Holly Wyman and Amanda Reimers.
   Post Chaplain and Hettinger mayor Richard Wyman opened with prayer, after which the Borderline Singers directed by Norman Smith sang an Armed Forces medley. As the various songs or hymns of the military branches were sung, former service members stood to rousing applause from the crowd.  "We had a good representation of the various branches," says Skaarvold.
    Pastor Paul Lint of the United Methodist Church in Hettinger gave the Memorial Day address siting Old Testament scripture in his presentation. Holly and Amanda provided three musical selections throughout the service. In honor of all veterans, a wreath was laid by Janet Schauer.
    Near the end of the service, the east wall was opened to reveal the gently falling rain, and the Legion Honor Guard, who has served together in this capacity for twenty-five years, marched out to stand at attention for the 21 gun salute. The solemnity of the situation was hard to miss.
    The guns went off. Empty shells bounced on the cold concrete. A baby cried. Then silence. And in the silence, the sound of Taps through the quiet rain calling listeners to remember the sacrifice of so many. The service closed with prayer and the retiring of the colors.
    Over 150 stayed for the complimentary dinner and an extensive potluck dessert bar served by Dakota Buttes Historical Society/Museum board members and community volunteers. After dinner, the Borderline Singers entertained the crowd with patriotic songs, spirituals, and gospel music.
    Festivities continued in the afternoon with a presentation by Leonard Bjerklie on vintage World War I posters. An avid amateur collector, Bjerklie provided background on the purpose of the posters and the effects of their messages, encouraging audience discussion and remembrances of personal and family connections to wartime. One of his favorites, the largest, a Third Liberty Loan poster, depicts shadowed soldiers in battle before  a fiery background, with the words, "To Make the World A Decent Place to Live in."  Decent. Not perfect. Perfect is for heaven, but decent, we can do.
    "It was a day to remember," said one participant. "So many things to think about." 
    "The day's events brought us together as a community, in shared remembrances of what so many have gone through to defend the freedoms we take too lightly," said another. "We hope they do this again next year."
    Both the Legion and the DBHS/M thank all who helped in so many ways to make the day's events and activities possible.

     Click on picture to enlarge

Photos compliments of Bob Hall
World War I Postor Display & Presentation by Leonard BjerklieSpeaker - Pastor LintCrowdLunch LinejJay SkarfoldHolly Wyman & Amenda Reimer21 Gun SaluteBorderline SingersHettinger Cemetary