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Bismarck History

Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota and the seat of Burleigh County. Founded in 1872 as the terminus for the Northern Pacific Railway company, the city was named for German chancellor Otto von Bismarck in an effort to attract German investors to the area. However, it wasn't until the discovery of gold in the nearby Black Hills in 1874 that settlers began flocking to the area. Bismarck became the capital of the Dakota Territory in 1883.

Bismarck has a large park system, with an extensive network of trails all along the Missouri River. Sertoma Park, perhaps the best known park in Bismarck, is home to the Dakota Zoo and the Super Slide Amusement Park. The Lewis & Clark Riverboat provides daily cruises to the Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, which lies just west of the city. Historic Fort Abraham Lincoln, which has been reconstructed and opened for tours, was commanded by Custer just prior to his ill-fated "last stand" against Sitting Bull.