Jamestown | Prairie Public Broadcasting


No money for Jamestown amusement park

Apr 29, 2021

The Legislature has approved the budget bill for the state Commerce Department, after lawmakers rejected a proposal for a one-time $5 million grant for a proposed amusement park in Jamestown.

The $5 million would have to be matched, and the developer could then approach the state Investment Board for further money, through loans or grants. It would be built on state owned land near the National Buffalo Museum.

Alf Clausen

Mar 26, 2021


This Sunday is Alf Clausen’s birthday. He was born in 1941 and grew up in Jamestown. In school he played piano and French horn and sang in the choir. But after high school, he decided to be a mechanical engineer and enrolled at NDSU.

Luckily, a trip to New York brought him to his musical senses. He went to visit his cousin, a piano player in Manhattan, and decided music was where his heart was. He switched his major to music theory, and after NDSU, he entered the Berklee School of Music in Boston where, upon graduating, he was hired as an instructor.


The flu pandemic a century ago lasted beyond 1918. It lingered into 1920 and sent parts of North Dakota back into lockdown. North Dakota’s state health officer recommended avoiding travel, visits and crowding. He urged local health authorities to prohibit unnecessary gatherings and public funerals, and to regulate seating in opera houses. His office also had charge of directing Red Cross aid.

Peggy Lee was born on this date in 1920 in Jamestown, North Dakota. She is known for her singing, movie, and television career. She is not well known for her war with the Walt Disney Company. The case came about because Disney performers received no additional compensation when a movie was later shown on television and turned into videocassettes. The movie company received all of the profits.

Jamestown to seek state money for fire truck

May 14, 2020

Getting the state to kick in some money for a new ladder truck for the Jamestown Fire Department could be a challenge in the 2021 Legislature.

The ladder truck was purchased by the state in the 1980s, to provide fire protection for the State Hospital. Last summer, the truck failed.

Alfred Dickey was the first lieutenant governor of North Dakota. He was also a citizen of Jamestown and a supporter of the public good. So, in January of 1901, he called a meeting with the intention to create a free reading room for Jamestown. 

Not Guilty!

Jul 15, 2019

Sunday is often viewed as a day of rest, and blue laws even restricted Sunday activities and business. The origin of the term is murky. It is often said that the original morality laws in Puritan settlements were printed on blue paper, but there is no evidence to confirm that.

Under blue laws, most businesses, including grocery stores, were closed on Sundays. There were generally some exceptions for hospitals, hotels, and restaurants. The Supreme Court ruled that blue laws were constitutional on secular, not religious grounds. The court said the purpose of the laws was to protect workers and families by “securing a day of rest.”

About this time in 1949, North Dakotans were learning that a man doing time for forgery in Michigan had confessed to killing two people in North Dakota. One of his victims was shot in a beauty salon in Jamestown, and the other was a man named James Woods.

The Bones of Plenty

Mar 21, 2019

North Dakota has its own version of the “The Grapes of Wrath.” Similar to John Steinbeck’s Great Depression story is “The Bones of Plenty” by Lois Phillips Hudson. She writes about the fictional George and Rachel Custer and their family’s wheat farm near Jamestown during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression.

Kelley’s Firsts

Dec 17, 2018

Arthur Wellesley Kelley was born in New Brunswick on this date in 1832. Forty years and one week later, he became the first postmaster of Jamestown. He was also the town’s first settler and the first merchant.