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Cannonball Stage Station State Historic Site

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The Cannonball Stage Station was the fifth stop after Bismarck on the Bismarck-Deadwood Stage Trail. For a brief period from 1877 to 1880, a booming stagecoach line linked the westernmost stop of the Northern Pacific Railroad at Bismarck to the gold fields of the Black Hills. Built in 1877 by the Northwest Express and Transportation Company, the stage station overlooked the Cannonball River fifteen miles southeast of Carson, Grant County.


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When the Northern Pacific Railway ended its tracks at Bismarck in 1873, the town became the collecting point for travelers heading west or south. In 1877 one of the commercial transportation modes was a stagecoach line. The Bismarck-Deadwood stage quickly gained popularity, because it ran directly to the gold fields of the Black Hills. By early summer 1877, daily stages were departing to the hills.

Whenever a stage arrived at the Cannonball Station, spent horses were replaced with fresh teams, and passengers stretched their weary bodies and ate the meager fare. Although this station was not as well equipped as the overnight stop at Cedar Creek, there was a barn and a log building. The station also served as a home to one employee.

Visitors stopping at the station today will find the remains of two dugouts (assumed to be the station building and an unknown building) and the rectangular outline of a barn. A quiet park on the east bank of the Cannonball River with a hand-pump water fountain and picnic table continues the tradition of hosting travelers at Cannonball Stage Station State Historic Site.

SHSND Address:
612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
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SHSND Hours:
Museum Store: 8am - 5pm M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10am - 5pm.
State Archives: 8am - 4:30pm., M-F, except state holidays, and 2nd Sat. of each month, 10am - 4:30 pm.
State Historical Society offices: 8am - 5pm M-F, except state holidays.

Contact SHSND:
phone: (701) 328-2666
fax: (701) 328-3710
email: histsoc@nd.gov