World's Largest Buffalo Statue
Located in Jamestown, North Dakota is the "World's Largest
Buffalo", a sculpture of a American Bison, built by local
businessperson Harold Newman in 1959.
94 it can be seen overlooking the city above
the James Valley river. This statue is one of
the most famous
tourist attractions in Jamestown and the one that gave Jamestown
its nickname, "The Buffalo City".
The statue stands at 26feet tall and 46feet long and weighs 60
tons and was built
by sculptor, Elmer Paul Peterson, an art instructor at
Jamestown College. The Idea for
the buffalo was conceived in 1957 by the Jamestown Chamber of
Commerce tourist promotions committee. Elmer Paul Peterson
designed and oversaw the construction of
the monument from beginning to end.
The Buffalo was constructed with cement and stucco covering a steel beam frame formed with wire mesh. Its
construction cost $8500 and an overrun from the initial
estimates came close to $4600. The $11,000 cost of the project
was underwritten by the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce and the
city of Jamestown.
The sculpture was built to commemorate the numerous herds of
American bisons that
used to roam the prairies of North America. The inspiration
for this gigantic monument
came from another colossal tourist attraction, The Statue of
Paul Bunyan, in the upper midwest. The Buffalo monument was
dedicated in 1960 by then-Governor Nelson
Rockefeller of New York City in a ceremony that attracted
In 1965, "Frontier Village", an old west town, was built next
to the World's Largest Buffalo sculpture. Some of the sights at
Frontier Village include a grocery store, wishing well, Midland
and Northern Pacific caboose, school house, church, barber shop,
mine shaft, printing shop, post office, train depot,
log cabin, art salon, souvenir shop,
and fire department with
three old fire trucks.
This sculpture is complete in terms of detail. It is also
anatomically correct, having been modelled after an adult male
bison in mid-stride.
When you visit this sculpture, be sure
also to visit the
National Buffalo Museum where you will learn about the history
of the American Bison. In this museum you'll also find a buffalo
herd and a rare-albino buffalo breed which they named "white