National Register Listings in
Slope County, North Dakota

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The town of Rugby, North Dakota is considered to be the geographical center of North America. A stone marker in the town's courthouse square marks the exact location of the center.
Slope County, North Dakota, located in the western part of the state, has a rich history that reflects the challenges and triumphs of early settlers. The region was originally inhabited by indigenous tribes, including the Sioux and Mandan peoples, who lived off the land and thrived in the harsh prairie environment. However, the arrival of European settlers in the late 19th century would dramatically transform the area.

In the late 1800s, Slope County saw an influx of homesteaders seeking a better life on the Great Plains. The establishment of the Great Northern Railway in the region played a key role in attracting settlers, as it provided access to markets and transportation for both people and goods. Many of these pioneers were immigrants from Europe, particularly Germans, Scandinavians, and Czechs, who brought their culture and traditions with them.

The early years in Slope County were challenging, as settlers faced harsh weather conditions, isolation, and limited resources. However, they persevered and established small communities and family farms. Agriculture became the backbone of the economy, with wheat and livestock production being the primary sources of income for many residents.

Over the years, Slope County has faced its fair share of difficulties, including droughts, economic downturns, and depopulation. Many young people left the area in search of better opportunities, leading to a decline in population. Despite these challenges, the community remains resilient, with residents cherishing their agricultural heritage and working together to support local businesses, schools, and community organizations.

Today, Slope County continues to be a small, close-knit community with a population that hovers around 800 people. The county is known for its vast open spaces, rolling prairies, and rugged beauty. It attracts visitors with its natural attractions, such as the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the Little Missouri National Grassland, which offer opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. Though the population may be small, the history and spirit of Slope County endure, ensuring a strong sense of community and a commitment to preserving the region's heritage for future generations.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Slope County, North Dakota.

  • 1885 - Slope County is established on February 28 as part of Dakota Territory.
  • 1892 - The first post office in the county, named Roseland, is established.
  • 1910 - The first county courthouse is built in Amidon, the county seat.
  • 1914 - The railroad reaches Amidon, boosting transportation and economic growth in the county.
  • 1930s - Slope County is severely affected by the Great Depression, leading to a decline in population and economic hardship.
  • 1940s - Oil exploration begins in the county, leading to an increase in oil production and economic revitalization.
  • 1960s - Slope County experiences another period of economic decline due to a decrease in oil production.
  • 1984 - The county courthouse is destroyed by a fire but is later rebuilt.
  • 1990s - Slope County starts to see a slight increase in population due to new job opportunities in the agriculture and oil industries.
  • 2010 - The population of Slope County reaches its peak at 727 residents.