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Photographs - Collections - 2005 #2005-P-015

Title: Mandan, Grand Forks, Dickinson, North Dakota Towns

Dates: ca. 1910-1943

Collection Number: 2005-P-015

Quantity: 48 items

Abstract: Images of the Mandan flood of March 1943 and of Grand Forks and Dickinson.

Provenance: The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired this collection from Deb Russell in November 1999.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.
Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs. Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U. S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.        
Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Historic Sketch
From the Mandan Pioneer March 1968

Twenty-five years ago this month, the City of Mandan was still assessing the damage of a $2 million flood, the worst – and hopefully the last – in its history.

Ice gorges which caused the Heart River to overflow the banks into the outskirts of the city were frequent prior to the spring of 1943, and over the years, dikes were raised to give the city what would, it was hoped, be adequate protection.

But on March 16 of that year, the state experienced a blizzard nearly as severe as the paralyzing storm which hit the state two years ago.

The storm continued all day, March 17, closing schools, blocking highways and raising drifts six to eight feet deep. It blew itself out on the 18th.

THEN came warm weather. The snows began to melt, turning normally dry draws all over the West Slope into raging torrents feeding into creeks and rivers. Farmers along the Heart River reported it higher than in 40 years.

Mandan residents watched and waited fearfully, and sandbagged the dikes. The afternoon of March 25, the Heart went out of its banks. An ice pack in the river had broken at noon but remained stationary. Water was spilling over the road to the State Industrial School between the N.P. tracks and at Riverside Park three feet of clearance remained on the dike.

Meanwhile the Missouri remained solid at the mouth of the Heart, and a farmer 45 miles southwest of Mandan reported a great head of water rushing toward Mandan from Dickinson after dynamiting of ice south of that city.

Friday afternoon, March 26, long blasts on the fire whistle warned residents of Syndicate and Girard Additions to get out immediately. Police in boats removed the last of the residents of that area early the next morning and the south part of town was virtually isolated. A dike was hastily erected over the road to the SIS as water was threatening to come into the city from the west.

Late Friday, the full force of the flood struck the city. Water began to rush in through the uncompleted Sixth Avenue N.E. underpass leading to the southeast portion of town. It swirled down First and Third streets and proceeded up Main Street to the former First National Bank building at Main and Collins so rapidly it caught many merchants with goods still in their basements.

Another wall of water came from the west down the Main Line N.P. tracks, eventually reaching the Lewis & Clark and McDonald Hotels. The water rose to a depth of six to seven feet in some areas.

The saturation point was around the Post Office, the former Kennelly Furniture building and the Mandan Pioneer. On the Strip, such well known night spots as Young’s Tavern, Coman’s Court and the Hi-Hat had water two to three feet deep in their buildings.

The water covered three-fourths of the city. Three thousand persons were driven from their homes. Some had no homes to return to.

The Red Cross cared for 500 made homeless and a thousand others were housed in other homes and in public buildings. Over 80 people took refuge in the Memorial Building. Hundreds were fed in the Elks Hall where retired Army Mess Sgt. Louis Bartram, former cook with Battery A, 188th Field Artillery, took charge. The storerooms of the Mandan Creamery and Produce Co. were drawn on heavily to feed the refugees.


2005-P-015-01   Lewis and Clark Hotel, Mandan, N.D.
2005-P-015-02   Main Street, Mandan, N.D. ca. 1940s     
2005-P-015-03   Snow covered city street, probably Mandan, N.D.
2005-P-015-04   Four people riding in a horse drawn wagon in front of the Depot, Mandan, N.D. ca. 1940s
2005-P-015-05   Sandbags in front of a building March 1943
2005-P-015-06   Two men in flooded 3rd Ave. NE near the N.P. tracks, Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-07 – 08 Flooded buildings March 1943
2005-P-015-09   Man walking in flooded, slushy W. Main St., Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-10   Flooded area March 1943
2005-P-015-11   Flooded structures March 1943
2005-P-015-12   Flooded river March 1943
2005-P-015-13   Flooded river banks March 1943
2005-P-015-14   Northern Pacific Freight Depot and flooded W. Main St., Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-15   Northern Pacific rail yard under water, Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-16   People in a small boat in front of Riverside Gravel Co., Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-17   People on sidewalk on flooded W. Main St., Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-18   Sandbagging a building on W. Main St., Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-19   Cars in flooded Main St. at 4th Ave. NW, Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-20   Flood waters at Standard Service Station, Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-21   Flooded residential street, Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-22   Flooded buildings March 1943   
2005-P-015-23   Flooded street in front of Vantine Paint and Glass, Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-24   Car driving in deep water past Vantine Paint and Glass, Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-25   Flooded street and businesses March 1943
2005-P-015-26   Flood waters at Standard Service Station, Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-27   Car driving in deep water past Vantine Paint and Glass, Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-28   Flood scene at 4th Ave. NW and W. Main St., Mandan, N.D. March 1943
2005-P-015-29   Building with the roof ripped off. Photographer: Osborn’s Daily Service, Dickinson, N.D.
2005-P-015-30   State Capitol Building, Bismarck, N.D. 1935
2005-P-015-31   Civic Memorial Park, Mandan, N.D.
2005-P-015-32   The Cottage, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D.
2005-P-015-33   N. 3rd St. looking south, Grand Forks, N.D.
2005-P-015-34   Reeves Ave., Grand Forks, N.D.
2005-P-015-35   Northern Pacific train near Dickinson, N.D. and clay deposits ca. 1910
2005-P-015-36   Old brick plant, Dickinson, N.D.
2005-P-015-37   Construction scene next to a dam
2005-P-015-38   Building construction
2005-P-015-39   Buildings and factory
2005-P-015-40   Dam spillway
2005-P-015-41   Dam
2005-P-015-42   Armour’s Cream Station, Dickinson, N.D. September 19, 1932. Photographer: Osborn
2005-P-015-43   Train bridge inundated by flood waters
2005-P-015-44   Group looking at flood waters from boardwalk
2005-P-015-45   Flooded street scene, Wiener Brewery
2005-P-015-46 – 47 Buildings
2005-P-015-48   Banquet at Dickinson Commercial Club

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