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Carrington Meteor


A meteor nearly five and a half feet in diameter struck the earth near Carrington, North Dakota, on this date in 1910. Making its entry during the early morning hours, the meteor traveled with "tremendous force and speed." Many residents in the vicinity were awake to witness the magnificent display, and news quickly spread throughout the area.

Witnesses reported that the meteor traveled soundlessly through the air, and was "all the colors of the rainbow." When it struck the earth, a brilliant light spread throughout the region, and people were immediately drawn to their doors and windows to see what had caused the sky to lighten. Upon impact, a loud boom emanated from the crash site, waking those who had not already witnessed its progress across the sky, and drawing curiosity for miles around. The boulder landed seven and a half miles northwest of Carrington, near the Armentrout and Mowry family farms. Both families witnessed its landing, and rushed to the site. Burning at a white-hot heat, they found that the meteor had buried itself over six feet into the ground upon impact. Soon, visitors began to arrive to see the space visitor for themselves. The boulder continued burning for the next twenty-four hours and, when finally extinguished, took on the appearance of a "piece of orr." The two families decided to dig the now-extinguished meteor out of the ground, in hopes of displaying the space rock in the city of Carrington as a possible tourist attraction. They estimated that it would take a few days time to dig the large rock out of the ground. At sixty-five inches, the meteor was the largest known of its kind in the vicinity. It was indeed fortunate that the meteor's trajectory followed the path it had, for, considering its large size and the force of its impact, anyone or anything that it may have struck would surely have not survived the encounter. Although meteors and meteorites themselves are a fairly common occurrence worldwide, they rarely exceed a few inches in diameter, and even the smallest of these have been known to cause extensive damage to property, and even death to individuals that have been unfortunate enough to lie in their path.

Dakota Datebook written by Jayme L. Job


The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican. Saturday (Evening ed.), January 15, 1910: p.1.