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Friday, August 30, 2013

Buffalo Bones

 At one time vast herds of bison roamed over the Mouse River and Des Lacs valleys. Sometimes when the herds would go down to the river to drink, the older, weaker animals became mired in the mud and remained there to die. The bones of the animals could be found in the water and often in the dry bed of a river or lake after the water receded. Picking buffalo bones off the prairie in the late 1800’s was a way for many homesteaders to provide themselves and families with many of the staples needed for living, things such as flour, coffee, bacon and other necessities. The bone industry was at its peak in the late 1800’s when thousands upon thousands of buffalo skeletons were hauled to Minot off the prairies and piled up next to the railroad tracks. At one time so many buffalo bones were piled next to the tracks in Minot, the railroad put in a spur line to get the rail cars closer to the pile for loading.

 Buffalo bones by railroad tracks
Close up of Buffalo bone pile

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