North Dakota Buffalo Foundation
The North Dakota Buffalo Foundation formed in 1991 with a nine-member board and an overwhelming desire to start a herd of buffalo that would graze in the pasture just below the "World's Largest Buffalo". The first five animals came from Theodore Roosevelt National Park and made their home in Jamestown in 1991. Today the Foundation manages a herd of 25 to 30 head, which has become a very popular tourist attraction. A few years later the merger between the National Buffalo Association and the American Bison Association into the National Bison Association created a need for a facility to house and display numerous accumulated buffalo related artifacts, artwork, and historical memorabilia. Once again, the same group of dedicated individuals understood the need, believed in the history, and embraced the challenge. The Foundation opened the National Buffalo Museum in June of 1993 and today many of the same individuals still look after its well being, as well as, the herd.
The North Dakota Buffalo Foundation is dedicated to preserving the history of the bison, as well as, promoting the bison industry of today. The museum is home to numerous art works, artifacts, and related Native American items. Visitors to the museum will see such items as: a 10,000 year old skull the original Thundering Herd oil painting, wildlife mounts including a full size buffalo mount, and numerous buffalo head mounts. Visitors can also view a 27 minute video; Tahtonka and during the months of May through September there is usually an additional temporary exhibit on display. The National Buffalo Museum also serves as an information center and thus maintains a large assortment of travel information and brochures. In addition, visitors can browse in the Museum Gift Shop, where a large assortment of buffalo novelty items can be purchased.
Today, the North Dakota Buffalo Foundation continues to strive for excellence through new exhibits, grounds enhancement, educational interpretation at the Museum, and also through exceptional, hands on management of the herd. Visible from 1-94 between exit #258 and #260. The rustic log building which houses the National Buffalo Museum, surrounded by rolling hills where the herd resides, is an attraction that cannot be passed by. Visitors should take exit #258, turn north, and follow the signs. The Museum is situated within the Frontier Village Complex, where the "Worlds Largest Buffalo" statue resides. Open year round, fall/spring and winter hours do vary; however, summer hours are 8:00 a m to 8:00 p.m. daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day.