World's Largest Buffalo.

World's Largest Buffalo

Field review by the editors.

Jamestown, North Dakota

The World's Largest Buffalo was built in 1959 by Elmer P. Peterson, an art teacher at Jamestown College. He was hired by Harold Newman, a powerful local billboard man who said he wanted "to create something so big and magnificent that passersby would have to stop in the city."

Peterson built the buffalo out of concrete, 26 feet tall, 46 feet long. It weighs 60 tons. Its butt faces the Interstate, which did not arrive until several years after the buffalo.

Buffalo from behind.

The buffalo inspired fellow North Dakotan Henry Leuher to build a giant Hereford bull in nearby Pettibone in the 1970s. Both Henry and his bull are now gone, but the buffalo remains. His gonads are in the same all-star category as Albert the Bull (Audubon, Iowa) and Babe the Blue Ox (Klamath, California).

In 2010, after more than 50 years of nameless fame, the buffalo was officially christened "Dakota Thunder."

Surrounding the buffalo are the Pioneer Village and National Buffalo Museum, which has a herd of live bison, including a rare albino, "Dakota Miracle." Her albino mom, "White Cloud," died in 2016; the Buffalo Museum had her stuffed in 2017 and permanently added to its displays. Live buffalo roam the hillsides beyond, but keep their distance from snapshot-craving tourists. When we asked why, the information booth kid explained, "They're not like dogs."

Also see: Titans of the North

World's Largest Buffalo

17th St. SW, Jamestown, ND
I-94 exit 258. Drive north. Turn right at the Frontier Village National Buffalo Museum green highway sign onto 17th St. SW. Follow the road into Frontier Village, then bear left to arrive at the giant buffalo.
Open daily May-Sep., closed Sundays Oct-April. (Call to verify)
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Steel Eagle, Wrestling AngelSteel Eagle, Wrestling Angel, Jamestown, ND - 1 mi.
Peggy Lee MuseumPeggy Lee Museum, Wimbledon, ND - 22 mi.
Mr. Wheat's Minuteman MissileMr. Wheat's Minuteman Missile, LaMoure, ND - 41 mi.
In the region:
Smallest City in USA (In Two Counties), Lehr, ND - 52 mi.

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