Unusual Tourist Sites: Center of North America Rugby, North Dakota Part 2

About the unusual tourist site Rugby, North Dakota, home to the geographic center of North America, history of the town and monument.

Rugby, North Dakota

Today, Rugby is the Pierce County seat. Its city hall houses a museum containing Indian artifacts found in the county, as well as some Spanish-American War relics.

Each June, Rugby plays host to the North Dakota State Championship Horse Show, Horses played a major role in its early development, too. It still depends primarily on the fertile farmland for its economic survival, and takes pride in the statewide awards it has won--for example, the Community Betterment Improvement Contest trophy in 1960. No skyscrapers can yet be found in Rugby, except for the towering grain elevators that are so integral to the town's economy.

About 40 mi. north of Rugby is another unusual landmark, the International Peace Garden, a 2,339-acre site laid out by both the State of North Dakota and the Commonwealth of Canada. "As long as man shall live, these 2 nations shall not take up arms against one another," reads the dedication to the garden, which is lush with the beauty of natural greenery. Admission to the park is free, and the grounds are open year round. Picnic areas are available, as are a lodge, cabins, and camping grounds. The entire State of North Dakota has adopted the theme of the park, calling itself the Peace Garden State and heralding that fact on its automobile license plates.

Lake Metigoshe State Park is not far from the International Peace Garden, and has one of the largest, most attractive lakes in the State. It is about an hour's drive from Rugby, and many of the townsfolk fish on the lake.

Rugby was once the home of N. P. Lindberg, who is credited with having originated the slogan "Say It with Flowers." At a national florists' convention in Chicago, he said, "In North Dakota, we say it with flowers." Those words were warmly received by the convention's delegates, who soon thereafter adopted the slogan as their own.

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