Wahpeton, North Dakota: Tombstone Tent Pole of Doom

The graves of circus workers Charles Smith and Charles Walters are marked by a carved stone replica of the blasted tent post they were erecting when it was struck by a thunderbolt on June 10, 1897.

Bohemian Cemetery

Address:
182nd Ave. SE, Wahpeton, ND
Directions:
Go to Center St. S. and 11th Ave. S. Drive south for one mile. Cemetery is on the left; when you enter, you'll see the pole-like monument straight ahead and to the left.
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Grave of Duke, Circus member.

Circus Lightning Victims Monument

In addition to the monument itself, there's also a grave to the left of the monument (while facing it), that is circus-related. It is the grave of Herbert Joseph "Duke" Walker, a trumpet player for the Dailey Bros. Circus who died of natural causes in Wahpeton.

[Stacy Barnes, 08/03/2015]

Circus Lightning Victims Monument.

Circus Lightning Victims Monument

In Riverside Cemetery, the graves of Charles Smith and Charles Walters are marked by a carved stone replica of a circus tent post. While setting up for a show on the morning of June 10, 1897, the two Ringling Brother's Circus employees were struck by lightning and killed instantly.

The Ringling Brother's Circus Monument is replica of the stricken post, and includes a rope and chain like the men used to hoist their unintended lightning rod.

[Gail R, 02/17/2010]

August 2015: Photo added.

Nearby Offbeat Places

World's Largest CatfishWorld's Largest Catfish, Wahpeton, ND - 3 mi.
The Sermon In StoneThe Sermon In Stone, Fairmount, ND - 13 mi.
Indoor Minnesota-Shaped Swimming PoolIndoor Minnesota-Shaped Swimming Pool, Fergus Falls, MN - 23 mi.
In the region:
Fargo Air Museum and a Rocket, Fargo, ND - 47 mi.

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August 24, 2019

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