National Register Listing in
Towner County, North Dakota

North Dakota was the site of one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history, the Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888. The storm struck without warning and claimed the lives of more than 200 people, many of whom were schoolchildren caught in the blizzard on their way home from school.
Towner County, North Dakota, is located in the northeastern part of the state. The county was established on March 8, 1883, with its county seat in Cando. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux, before European settlers arrived.

In the late 19th century, Towner County experienced a significant boom in population and economic development due to the arrival of the Great Northern Railway. Settlers were attracted to the area for its fertile land, which was ideal for agriculture. As farming became the main industry, small towns began to emerge across the county.

During the early 20th century, Towner County faced the challenges of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. The economic hardships had a profound impact on the community, leading to reduced population and agricultural struggles. However, the county managed to rebuild and recover with the introduction of new farming techniques and government assistance programs.

In recent decades, Towner County has continued to rely on agriculture, but has also seen diversification in its economy. The county has embraced renewable energy sources, such as wind power, and has developed a strong presence in the renewable energy sector. Towner County celebrates its history and agriculture through annual events and festivals, attracting visitors and showcasing its rural charm. Today, it remains a close-knit community with a strong agricultural foundation, while also embracing new opportunities for growth and progress.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Towner County, North Dakota.

  • 1883: Towner County was established.
  • 1885: The first courthouse was built in the county seat of Cando.
  • 1886: The Great Northern Railroad was built through the county.
  • 1900: The population of Towner County reached its peak at around 7,700 people.
  • 1930: The population began to decline due to the Great Depression and changes in agriculture.
  • 1953: A new county courthouse was built in Cando.
  • 1970: The population of Towner County dropped to less than 3,500.
  • 1983: Towner County celebrated its centennial anniversary.
  • 2006: The county seat of Cando was hit by an EF4 tornado, causing significant damage.
  • 2019: Towner County had a population of around 2,200 people.