Jamestown historic courthouse offers North Dakota Passport program

The North Dakota Passport program offers visitors a chance to record the sites they visit in the state.

By rubbing a pencil on paper held against the North Dakota Passport rubbing post, an image of a logo for the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse becomes visible. Keith Norman / The Sun
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Most people don't need a passport to tour the parks and historic sites of North Dakota, but a North Dakota Passport is a handy way to learn about the state and keep track of the places visited, according to Steve Reidburn, site manager for the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse.

The North Dakota Passport program is a partnership between North Dakota Parks and Recreation and the State Historical Society. It lists 37 places around the state for people to visit including 17 state parks and 20 historical sites.

"It is based loosely on the National Park passport program," Reidburn said.

At each location a post incudes a rubbing point for people to catch the image of the logo for the site. This can be done on plain paper, or on the North Dakota Passport books sold at historic sites with a store or online through the North Dakota Historical Society. Cost is $9.95 plus tax for the passport, carrying bag and crayons.

In Jamestown, the historic courthouse is the only location participating in the program. Area sites include the Oscar Zero missile site, Fort Totten, Whitestone Hill Battlefield and Fort Ransom.


The post and rubbing point for the North Dakota Passport program are not staffed and provide no interaction with visitors.. At the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse, the post is outside the door on the east side of the building. By making rubbings on the pages of the passport book, visitors create a log of the places visited in North Dakota.

Reidburn said the passport post is a new edition this year at the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse. A new flagpole was also dedicated this spring and will display the American flag anytime the courthouse historic site is open for visitors.

Visitation this year has been slightly above normal with Reidburn anticipating a good year. Displays on the functions of government and the history of the area are displayed. Events planned for this summer include David Bratton talking about veterans programs at 1 p.m. June 19, Brent Indie playing guitar and singing on the lawn of the courthouse at 1 p.m. July 21 and Mark Klose discussing to roll of the county commission at 11 a.m. on Aug. 7.

Summer hours for the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission to the building is free.

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