With the most recent information regarding COVID-19, the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum and State Archives are closed to the public until further notice. Interpretive centers/buildings at state historic sites will open on May 23 with the exception of the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site opening on June 15. Learn more

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Archives - Land Records - Land Laws

Surveys & Surveying | Land Acquisition | Speculators & Land Companies

Although there were areas of European-American settlement prior to the advent of the railroad, most occurred after the Northern Pacific Railroad crossed the Red River in 1871. North Dakota had two "boom" periods of rapid settlement: the first occurring from 1878 to 1890, and the second from 1898 to approximately 1915. While the Homestead Act made it possible for settlers to obtain free land, approximately one-fourth of the state was granted to the railroad for building through the territory. Other land was eventually granted to the state for public purposes. Therefore, settlers might have obtained land through homesteading or purchase.

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