As the northern section of the Transcontinental Railroad was built, cities and towns grew up in its wake. Such was the case in Fargo. The early residents of this city laid the cultural and material foundation of our city.
Culture followed people and people followed the railroad across the Great Plains in the late 19th century. Thus, it is not surprising that Fargo had several theaters, an orchestra, and an Opera House before 1890.
The Northern Pacific Railroad built a bridge across the Red River from Moorhead, Minnesota to Fargo in 1871. Within ten years the city's population was 2,693, and by 1890 it was 5,664. This growing population had an active government, schools, stores, and churches.
This project began as part of a Fall 2012 Digital History class at NDSU. With the goal of exploring Fargo’s history between 1871 and 1897, students visited libraries and archives to search for clues to the city’s history. Future classes will conduct further research and add to the site.
Do you know some interesting tidbits about Fargo’s history? Share them with us by posting a comment or sending an email. We welcome your participation as we explore our past.