History is fleeting. Its also difficult to nail down as it is happening. What may seem insignificant today may be seen as important in the future. With this project, we seek to take a bit of that guess work out, and work to preserve Bismarck and Mandan, as they stand today, in film.
While photos and videos are important in capturing history, there are many stories that can't be captured simply through images. Instead, the written word is needed. It has been around half a century since a major history project has set out to record area history, and we seek to rectify that.
Throughout the Bismarck Mandan area, there are thousands who have been forgotten to history. Some lie in unmarked graves, to possibly never be remembered, while others are waiting to have their stories told, if only one happens across them. Our intention is to do just that.
As part of our effort to document the Bismarck Mandan area, we are setting off to systematically photograph the area, so that future generations can look back to see how the twin cities stood during this generation. Check out the growing gallery here.
The Documenting Bismarck Mandan Project began as a side endeavor. Having worked in the newspaper industry for a few years, I had compiled a number of stories about the history of both Bismarck and Mandan. While some of the stories found their way into an article or two, most were filed away for a later time.
After starting my own newspaper in 2016, the Midwestern Scout, the time seemed to arrive. With a mission to focus on the history of the area, I began really looking into what was written on the subject. Digging into the records I could find, I realized just how scant the writings were on the history of the two cities, with the last major books on the subject around half a century old.
Already having spent a good deal of time writing various articles, and searching out even more stories, I figured it was the time to go all in. This project, is the outcome of that.
Funding for this project has largely depended on community support. Part of the reason for that is a want to have the community not only involved, but invested in the project; to make it not only my project, but also theirs.
Currently we are running a GoFundMe Campaign to cover the initial costs, as well as secure this project well into the future.
We are also working on opening an online shop, which will allow those who want to support the project a different way to do such.
Finally, we are opening up this project to sponsors, who want to share in this project.