March 1

North Dakota, like many western states, lives and dies with its railroads.  It was the railroad building after the Civil War in the late 1860’s that brought the 7th Cavalry here to protect the railroad workers.  Towns sprung up along the rail lines and some of those towns today are gone because the rail lines were abandoned.

Mandan is a railroad town. The Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad operates out of Mandan as it has for more than a century.  On a cold snowy evening, the switchyard is lit up with a golden glow and provides a photo op from the nearby hill.

Knowing the intimate historical connection between railroads, North Dakota and Mandan, I often imagine in my mind’s eye what it used to look like.  Perhaps something like this: