Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Featured Destination: Kellan Lutz's Home State, North Dakota

In keeping with our new “featured destination” theme this week we are traveling to the state of North Dakota where our favorite Monkey Man Kellan Lutz was born and raised.

On March 2, 1861, President James Buchanan signed the bill creating the Dakota Territory, which originally included the area covered today by both Dakotas as well as Montana and Wyoming. The name was taken from that of the Dakota or Sioux Indian Tribe. Beginning in 1877, efforts were made to bring Dakota into the Union as both a single state and as two states. The latter was successful and on November 2, 1889, both North and South Dakota were admitted. President Benjamin Harrison went to great lengths to obscure the order in which the statehood proclamations were signed, so the exact order in which the two states entered is unknown. However, because of alphabetical position, North Dakota is often considered the 39th state. Dakota is derived from the Sioux Indian word for "friend."

The state capital is Bismarck and is the second most populace city in North Dakota after Fargo. The original North Dakota State Capitol building was built between 1883 and 1884 and saw several additions through the early 1900s until it burned to the ground on the night of December 28, 1930. This disaster required the construction of a new building in the middle of the Great Depression. The tower and wing were built between 1931 and 1934, at a cost of $2,000,000.00. The present main State Capitol building is a 241.67 feet (73.7 m) tall, 19-story, Art Deco skyscraper. It is the tallest building in North Dakota and is known as the Skyscraper on the Prairie. This tower houses the office of the Governor of North Dakota and the offices of multiple state agencies and departments.

Present Capital Building (Tower)

The First State Capital Building

North Dakota is known for its extreme temperatures and weather. The normal average annual temperature in North Dakota ranges from 37° F in the northeast to 43° F along the southern border. In the winter the farthest northeast corner of the state gets the coldest and can reach temperatures averaging around 2° F. The warmest areas in the state are in the extreme southeast and south central and have temperatures averaging in the low 70's in July and August.

There is a place in North Dakota that some call one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Badlands...or as some call it "The Land God Forgot", still others liken its rugged terrain and awe inspiring rock formations to a lunar landscape. The Badlands are a barren landscape carved by intense weather patterns and are one of the state's most famous attributes. The name evolved into a permanent title from phrases used by different ethnic groups to describe the barren environment. Initially the Lakota Native American tribe called the weather-chiseled land the "bad land." The Spanish named the area the tierra baldia, or the wasteland, while the French trappers called the Badlands les mauvaises terres à traverser, literally meaning "the bad lands to cross."

Every place has their fun and kooky facts but did you know...

  • North Dakota grows more sun flowers then any other state? U.S. farmers grew about 2.4 million acres of sunflowers worth just under $670 million last year, most in North Dakota?
  • In North Dakota, it is unlawful to serve beer and pretzels at the same time in any bar or restaurant.
  • Milk is North Dakotas state beverage·
  • North Dakota was the first state to complete it’s interstate highway system.
  • North Dakota hosts almost fifty local and regional rodeos that attract hundreds of cowboys each year.
  • The coastline around Lake Sakawea in North Dakota is longer than the California coastline along the Pacific Ocean.
  • North Dakota is the only state in the nation to never have an earthquake.
  • It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on in North Dakota.
  • If you wear a hat while dancing in Fargo, you can be jailed. In fact, if you even wear a hat to a place where dancing is going on, you are tempting the law.

So, here is a shout out to all the North Dakotan’s out there. Please make yourselves at home here and spread the word! Join us on the forum, we would love to hear from you!! As stated in the previous post… Do you have another interesting fact about our weekly destination you would like to share with us or maybe a different location we can feature in the future? Drop us a line…

Thanks to: Legends of America, State Handbook & Guide Resources, Destination 360, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center


  1. Actually, Mott, ND is the one that "God forgot" Mott's the Spot that God forgot. And the western side of the state is much more like a step back in time or into a western movie than the East side. Hell, the east side keeps ups with or is sometimes ahead of other US or international locales as far as trends and "the times" go believe it or not...

  2. well i actually live in West Fargo North Dakota! I know most people think its a really boring place buts its not. its just a lot of scenery and not a lot of huge skyscapers.haha thanks for vistiting:)haha