About the Foundation

The State Historical Society of North Dakota Foundation is a private, non-profit organization supported by membership and donations. The Foundation was formed in 1965 by the state legislature to generate private financial support for the State Historical Society’s projects and programs that cannot be funded by the legislature. Governor William Guy initiated the concept of the Foundation and former Governors Brunsdale and Davis supported the formation of this organization.

Pembina River Plaza

Foundation dollars have contributed to the building of the current North Dakota Heritage Center and Pembina State Museum as well as the other historic sites across the state, in which valuable collections from our state’s history are displayed and securely stored.

The Foundation prints and distributes North Dakota History: Journal of the Northern Plains which is the premier historical research publication of the agency. Currently more than 2,500 members receive these publications annually.

The Foundation has been aggressively building a network of partnerships with business leaders and significant individuals from around the state—History’s Trustees. These donors and partners support the work of the Society and Foundation by being informed community members all across the state. Many have worked with the legislature to encourage funding for major projects and others have worked at local levels to enhance regional historic sites and similar resources. The Foundation is most grateful for the leadership of these individuals. 


The State Historical Society of North Dakota

Mission: To identify, preserve, interpret, and promote the heritage of North Dakota and its people.

The State Historical Society of North Dakota is the state’s history agency. The Society is dedicated to bringing history and people together through its museums, research library, preservation efforts, historic sites, educational programs, archeological digs, publications and web site.



The Society aims to makes history fun and enjoyable. Hundreds of thousands of children, youth and adults annually visit the Society’s museums and historic sites. Hundreds of people write, call or stop at the State Archives and Historical Research Library at the North Dakota Heritage Center every month for assistance in tracking family roots and other valuable information. Thousands of individuals visit the Society web site looking for resources on a monthly basis. Many more take part in educational programs, field tours, museum-theater, live demonstrations, film and lecture series, traveling exhibits and teacher workshops.

The Society’s collections grow with the years. The collection currently houses over a million archaeological items preserved for us in exhibits and research, thousands upon thousands of history, natural history and ethnology artifacts, books, periodicals, maps, photos, manuscripts, records, newspapers, and oral histories, plus clothing, furniture, household items and automobiles--all items that were once used or cherished by you and your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents.


The Historical Sites of North Dakota

The Historical Society oversees 59 Historic Sites across the state of North Dakota. Some sites offer interpreters, visitor centers with exhibits and stores, furnished buildings, picnic areas, and other amenities. Others lie obscurely in pastures without a monument or fencepost to mark their existence. A few sites are currently closed to visitors because of lack of accessibility, concerns about preservation, or out of respect for American Indians who hold these places sacred.

Missouri - Yellowstone Confluence

Notable sites include the Chateau De Mores, the Medora Chimney Park, Double Ditch Indian Village, Former Governors Mansion, Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Pembina State Museum, Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site, Stutsman County Courthouse and Welk Homestead.