SHSND Home > 2016 Governor's History Conference
Celebrating 50 Years of the National Historic Preservation Act
ND Governor's History Conference
October 22-23, 2016
North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum, Bismarck
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Partners: State Historical Society of North Dakota and its Foundation, US Forest Service, and Preservation North Dakota

Saturday, October 22

8 – 8:50 a.m. Registration
8:50 – 9 a.m. Welcoming

Tom Mayes9 a.m. (Russell Reid Auditorium)
Why Do Old Places Matter?

Tom Mayes (Vice President and Senior Counsel, National Trust for Historic Preservation)

Why do old places matter? What difference do old places make in people’s lives? In a series of essays, Tom Mayes explored some reasons why old places matter to people, beginning with continuity, memory, individual identity, civic identity, and beauty. The idea that old places are important to us is often a deeply held belief, but the reasons are not often articulated or expressed. Mayes’ exploration provides direction for future efforts by identifying why old places matter, recognizing what we choose to preserve, and addressing how to preserve them.

Steve Martens10 a.m. (Russell Reid Auditorium)
Knowing One’s Places: The National Register and the Privilege of Discovery

Steve Martens (former Professor of Architecture, North Dakota State University)

In its first 50 years the National Register process has proven to be a flexible framework for interpreting heritage. By researching historic buildings and landscapes, we grow in our understanding and appreciation of the past, present, and future. The privilege of listening, learning, and discovering extends to each of us through the grassroots process of National Register research, evaluation, recognition, and heritage celebration. Architectural historian Steve Martens will take us on a journey to view the spectacular array of high-style, vernacular, ethnic, and modern buildings that reflect North Dakota’s heritage and cultural values. From homesteads and rural churches to the Progressive-era boom times and the New Deal to the present, Steve discusses and illustrates the richly diverse heritage of our state through time. The research that underscores National Register nominations is an opportunity for real discovery about our communities and ourselves; confronting preservation challenges and appreciating the limitless opportunities that will come the way of future generations.

Connie Sprynczynatyk11 a.m. (Russell Reid Auditorium)
Road to Redemption: Building the Path from Controversy to Community

Connie Sprynczynatyk (former Bismarck City Commissioner)

The only unbroken north-south arterial street in Bismarck passes directly through the Cathedral Historic District. For decades, the neighbors and city government waged battles over proposed solutions to traffic snarls. An unusual and interactive design process in 2005, with residents as key stakeholders, resulted in a solution that enhanced the historic value of the district.

11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Lunch in the Missouri River Event Center and Annual State Historical Society of North Dakota Foundation Meeting

Kimball Banks1 p.m. (Russell Reid Auditorium)
The National Historic Preservation Act: Past, Present, and Future

Kimball Banks (Director of Strategic Development, Metcalf Archaeological Consulting, Inc., Golden, Colorado)

Kimball Banks will present on the impact of the Smithsonian Institution’s River Basin Surveys and the Interagency Archeological Salvage Program on archaeology. The programs stimulated public interest in heritage preservation, awakened the archaeological community to the destruction of archaeological sites from federal projects, and facilitated passage of the National Historic Preservation Act. Kimball will also discuss his views on the Act from the perspective of a federal archaeologist and cultural resource specialist in the private sector.

Wendi MurrayBrad Kroupa

2 p.m. (Russell Reid Auditorium)
Remembering Nishu: Arikara Oral History as Heritage Preservation in North Dakota

Wendi Field Murray (State Historical Society of North Dakota) and Brad KuuNUx TeeRIt Kroupa (Arikara Cultural Center)

Following the fissioning of Like-A-Fishhook village in the 1880s, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara people established multiple villages in the bottomlands of the Missouri River. Most of the Arikara population settled in the Nishu area until it was inundated in the early 1950s. Through interviews with elders, this collaborative project between the Arikara Cultural Center and the State Historical Society of North Dakota documents the lived experience of Nishu, now under the waters of Lake Sakakawea and visually inaccessible. We discuss how the persistence of Arikara memory and tradition empowered residents to navigate changes wrought by the assimilative policies of the US government, and discuss the cultural significance of Nishu to the contemporary Arikara community.

Guinn Hinman3 p.m. (Russell Reid Auditorium)
The Historic 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse: It’s Not a Parking Lot!

Guinn Hinman (State Historical Society of North Dakota)

Preservation in North Dakota is often a grassroots, community-based movement. The historic 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse, located in Jamestown, was within days of being demolished in the early 1980s when a group of local citizens protested and fought to save it. The courthouse, notable for being the oldest in the state, as well as the location for many meetings in the 1880s statehood movement, had fallen into disrepair after 99 years of use. After a lengthy legal battle, the State Historical Society acquired the building and began the extensive restoration work. The project is nearing completion. Learn about the story of the courthouse, the legal battle to save it, and the restoration process to date. What was once the most controversial building in North Dakota is becoming a beloved icon and a model for preservation success.

Saturday Evening

Reception at the Former Governors’ Mansion State Historic Site (320 Avenue B, Bismarck)
Light refreshments and entertainment sponsored by the State Historical Society from 5-8 p.m.

OPTIONAL: Cathedral Area Historic District Candlelight Walking Tour (begins and ends with the Former Governors’ Mansion State Historic Site)
Take a self-guided tour of Bismarck’s Cathedral Area Historic District. The Cathedral District has been home to some of the state’s most prominent historical figures including Governors “Honest” John Burke and “Wild Bill” Lange, and Neil Churchill, manager of the national championship-winning Bismarck semi-pro baseball team starring Satchel Paige. Houses illustrate a catalog of architectural styles, with designs by noted architects Ashelman and Gage, F. W. Keith, Arthur Van Horn, Herman Leonard, and Purcell, Feick and Elmslie. The candle-lit tour begins and ends with the Former Governors’ Mansion and includes a self-guided walking tour to a select group of historic homes, open for visitation. Additional fee. Click here to register.

Sunday October 23

Guy Paulson10:30 a.m. (Russell Reid Auditorium)
Guy Paulson of the Stave Church project at the Heritage Center and State Museum

Following a screening of the PBS documentary Building a Dream: The Moorhead Stave Church, Guy Paulson will elaborate on the personal project he undertook in 1998, carving from wood an exact replica of a 12th century Norwegian Stave Church. The replica took five years and thousands of painstaking hours to complete. Paulson traveled to Norway to examine the original church. The church replica is on display at the Heritage Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, Minnesota.

FIELD TRIP: Site visit to United Tribes Technical College, 3315 University Drive, Bismarck

12:30 p.m. (United Tribes Technical College)
Backstory on the Apple Creek Plain
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Dennis Neumann (Public Information Director, United Tribes Technical College)

One-hundred-year old brick buildings identify United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) as the location of a former military post. Constructed in and around 1903, the post was the second installation in the area named Fort Lincoln. Its current use began in the 1960s, serving Native American students and their families and non-Native students with academic, career and technical education and training. This site visit includes a brief tour and a photo-illustrated talk about people, purposes, and events on or near the Apple Creek plain, including the World War II use of Fort Lincoln as an alien internment camp. Additional fee. Click here to register.

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
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We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
We will also be closed on Christmas Eve this year.
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phone: 701.328.2666