Skip to Main Content


Martyrs Graves

Field review by the editors.

Walhalla, North Dakota

The martyrdom occurred in 1852. Alternately known as "The Martyrs of Walhalla" or "The Martyrs of St. Joe," even though none of them were Catholic. They were, however, here to convert the Indians to Christianity, and the Indians evidently could tolerate that for only so long.

About a dozen people are buried here, each with a different type of headstone. A larger monument in the middle pays homage to all. Most of them were killed in a massacre in 1852, more were added after a smaller massacre in 1854. All martyrs are welcome here.

"Mrs. Cornelia Leonard Spencer," reads one inscription. "Killed by Indians August 30, 1854 at Walhalla, where she and her husband were laboring as missionaries." It seemed to us that the Indians had come back as mosquitoes when we visited, torturing people like us who visited the victims' graves. The bloodletting continues in Walhalla....

The only person in town who could direct us to these graves was an emaciated woman that we found drinking in an otherwise empty bar.

Martyrs Graves

Walhalla Cemetery

Division St., Walhalla, ND
Southwest of town. US 32 north into town, then left on Delano Ave, then another left on Division St. to Walhalla Cemetery. In a little tree-shaded corner of the cemetery, surrounded by a low, crumbling concrete wall.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Oldest North Dakota BuildingOldest North Dakota Building, Walhalla, ND - 2 mi.
Bruce: World's Largest Mosasaur StatueBruce: World's Largest Mosasaur Statue, Morden, MB, Canada - 20 mi.
Pose in Mouth of Prehistoric FishPose in Mouth of Prehistoric Fish, Morden, MB, Canada - 21 mi.
In the region:
World's (2nd) Largest Fire Hydrant, Elm Creek, MB, Canada - 52 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in North Dakota

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in North Dakota.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

North Dakota Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Woodland Park, Colorado (Apr 15-21, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Favorite Quirky City Sights