Northwest North Dakota is home to interesting statues
Bottineau’s Tommy the Turtle is a big tourism draw for the community in the Turtle Mountains, said Brian Knudson, director of the Bottineau Park District.
The 30-foot-tall statue of a turtle riding a 34-foot-long snowmobile has been on display in the city for 40 years. The statue is one of several North Dakota statues that are mentioned on RoadsideAmerica.com as places that tourists might want to stop.
“Throughout the spring, summer, and fall months, we have a lot of visitors that stop and take a break and stop to look at our turtle,” said Knudson, who was still in high school when Tommy was installed.
“That was the intention of the statue to be put there, was to get people to stop and take a look,” said Knudson.
The statue of Tommy the Turtle is maintained by the Bottineau Chamber of Commerce.
Other statues of note in the area include Garrison’s Wally Walleye. The statue of the giant fish celebrates Garrison’s claim to be “Walleye Capital of the World.”
According to Roadside America.com, Wally Walleye is a 26-foot-long fiberglass sculpture in the town park on Main Street. Garrison also has Big Gene, a 15-foot-tall statue of a man made out of sheet metal, according to Roadside America.com The statue is located at the Garrison Golf Club entrance.
Rugby, which recently regained its title as the Geographical Center of North America, has a rock cairn celebrating its status that has always been a prime spot for tourists to stop and have their photographs taken.
The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn has a 6-foot-tall statue of Lewis and Clark’s dog, Seaman, at Fort Mandan. Other statues of members of the expedition are in front of the museum in Washburn and often draw the eyes of people traveling through.
In Minot, the Scandinavian Heritage Park, which has huge statue of the 30-foot-tall red, green and yellow Swedish Dala horse, was installed in the park in 2000 by the Swedish Heritage Association. A statue of Theodore Roosevelt graces Roosevelt Park in Minot.
And near the North Dakota State Fairgrounds is Gravel Products Inc.’s statue of a giant truck suspended in the air.
Businesses and small towns alike can say “made you look” this summer for tourists out exploring.