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Williston history is on the map at Fort Buford center

Posted 12/10/22 (Sat)

By Eric Gill

Several events are planned in the coming weeks for Fort Buford near Williston that are open to the public and free. Events will be held at the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretative Center (MYCIC), except for Historical Game Day, which may take place at Fort Buford, depending on weather.

The first event — a music recital to celebrate Christmas — takes place Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. The recital is not on the MYCIC’s official calendar, said Yvette Bachmeier, a spokesperson for the Historical Society of North Dakota.

“I’m calling it “Christmas Joy at the Confluence,” she said, explaining that a local family contacted the center and offered to perform. Bachmeier described it as a “small Christmas music program” for the entire family.


Jore Family

The Jore Family: daughter Karli Keck (left), mom C'Dale, dad Phil, and granddaughter Piper Keck. (Jore Haus of Musik)

The Jore family, which operates Jore Haus of Music in Williston, specializes in stringed instruments and piano, said Bachmeier, who mentioned they also sing. The Jores play accordion, violin, mandolin, banjo, djembe, electric bass, guitar and piano, while offering music lessons through Jore Haus of Music.

C’Dale, Karli and Piper Jore were born and raised in Williston. Karli started the Jore Haus of Musik fiddle school in 1996 while still in high school.

“Phil has a master’s in Vocal Music and spent a year with the Minnesota Opera Company,” C’Dale stated. “Today he enjoys singing and playing old time and country gospel music with his family. The family takes traditional songs and adds a bluegrass flavor. Collectively the family plays over 25 instruments.”

“It will be Christmas music and other popular tunes,” Bachmeier said. “After they are done playing, for about an hour, we will have a reading of The Night Before Christmas.”

“Surprises” will be given out after the reading, and refreshments will be available during the entire event, she said.

“Christmas Joy at the Confluence” attendees are encouraged to bring kids.

The History Book Club meets Thursday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. for a discussion of “Personal Memoirs of Ulysses Grant: An Autobiography.”

In addition, the club will discuss “Guns, Germs, and Steel; the Fates of Human Societies” by Jared Diamond. The book was initially scheduled for the club’s November gathering at MYCIC, but the event was cancelled because of harsh weather.

“The weather and roads were bad that day,” Bachmeier explained, noting both books will be covered on Dec. 15.

In addition to winter weather, which prompts season closures of the barracks, Bachmeier said the center is currently dealing with staffing shortages that make it difficult to open the barracks.

“We’re short-staffed,” she said. “There’s only two of us here.”

The MYCIC, part of Fort Buford State Historic Site, is managed by the State Historical Society of North Dakota. The center’s regular hours are Wednesday–Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CT); and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. (CT). The MYCIC is closed Monday and Tuesday.