top of page


image001 (1).png

"History Comes to Life on the Talking Trail..."

Screen Shot 2022-06-19 at 11.19.35 PM.png
Patterson Building.jpg

Welcome to the former Patterson Building, which was built in 1911 by Ed Patterson, and originally named the McKenzie Hotel, to honor Alexander McKenzie, an old friend and political crony of Patterson...

The Patterson Hotel - Historic Bismarck
Rail Depot.jpg

Welcome to the Bismarck Rail Depot. The Northern Pacific Railway built Bismarck's Rail Depot in 1901, following the great fire of 1898 that had consumed so many of the structures in and around the downtown district... 

Bismarck Rail Depot - Historic Bismarck
Provident Building.jpg

Welcome to the Provident Building. The world can be cruel. What can go wrong, often does go wrong, and likely for that reason there is evidence of groups starting to insure ships and their cargo in the 14th century in Italy...

The Provident Building - Historic Bismarck
Capital Theater.jpg

Welcome to the Capitol Theatre Building. Ed Patterson built the E.G. Patterson Building in 1905. It was designed by the Fargo architect Milton Earl Beebe, at an early point in his career. In the first few years the building held a meat market...

Capitol Theatre Building - Historic Bismarck
IMG_5035 copy.jpg

Welcome to the beautiful, historic Cathedral District. You might consider walking a few blocks in each direction to check out the historic homes. To view the Cathedral itself, take an approximately two-minute walk due west...

Cathedral District - Historic Bismarck
IMG_5023 copy.jpg

Welcome to the Belle Mehus Auditorium. The people of Bismarck have been seeking entertainment since the founding of the town in 1872. In the wild, rough early days of the new frontier town...

Belle Mehus Auditorium - Historic Bismarck
Prince Hotel.jpg

Welcome to the former Van Horn Hotel. Van Horn and Ritterbush Architects, later Ritterbush Brothers, then Ritterbush Associates, P.C., is one of the state’s oldest architectural firms. The partnership began in 1920 when established Bismarck architect Arthur Van Horn joined forces with...

Van Horn and Ritterbush - Talking Trail
St. Alexius Hospital.jpg

Welcome to St. Alexius Hospital. In the frontier days there were few jobs open for women.  Mostly women were expected to be in the home raising children, or helping with all the farming chores that made up town and rural life before electricity..

St. Alexius Hospital - Talking Trail
World War Memorial Building.jpg

Welcome to the World War Memorial Building. Bismarck has a long tradition of honoring veterans with memorial structures.  There is a Memorial Bridge over the Missouri River, the Veterans’ Memorial Public Library...

World War Memorial Building - Talking Trail

Welcome to the Veteran’s Memorial Public Library. The library you see before you opened on July 8th, 1963, and replaced the Carnegie Library, which was demolished in 1980, however, the efforts to create Bismarck’s first free public library began much earlier...

Bismarck Veterans Memorial Library - Talking Trail

As the City of Bismarck continues to celebrate its 150th Anniversary, the Historic Preservation Commission is excited to unveil a new way to experience the story of ten historic sites in the community by partnering with Talking Trails to provide an interactive self-guided audio tour. The Historic Preservation Commission aims to promote the knowledge and understanding of the City’s heritage, its historic properties and the past endeavors of its residents.

Come explore the rich history, heritage, and culture on the Downtown Bismarck, ND Talking Trail! Uncover the history behind the architecture and the stories of the movers and shakers who paved the way for the community! 

This project was partially funded by the Historic Preservation Fund, National Park Service, Department of the Interior.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.


Screen Shot 2022-06-19 at 11.19.35 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 6.00.15 PM.png
bottom of page