Join McKenzie Co. Heritage Park & ND Oil Museum For Seasonal Opening May 27

The McKenzie County Heritage Park & North Dakota Oil Museum invites you to their seasonal opening Saturday, May 27, with extended summer hours, Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays from 1-5 p.m.

Arts and crafts vendors will be set up so park goers can do a little shopping starting at 11 a.m. The local Lions Club will be serving burgers in the park starting at 11:30 a.m. so be sure to grab a bite to eat before or after strolling the six acres of exhibits including several historical McKenzie County buildings that have been relocated to the grounds. These include a barber shop, blacksmithing shop, homestead shack, church, George Shafer's Law Office and the "end of the line" train depot from the Great Northern Railroad. The McKenzie County Heritage Park & North Dakota Oil Museum also has antique cars and farming equipment for viewing, as well as several exhibits and artifacts housed in the museum. Be sure to also check out their wooly mammoth femur bone, tusk and tooth.

In November 2022, the former Pioneer Museum relocated their exhibits and artifacts to McKenzie County Heritage Park & North Dakota Oil Museum. Formerly located in the Long X Trading Post Visitor Center, the decision was made to transfer items from the Pioneer Museum as the Long X Trading Post Visitor Center is transitioning to the Long X Arts Foundation.

One of these relocated exhibits is the Charles Bannon exhibit; Bannon confessed to killing the Haven family who lived near Schafer, ND. Despite being detained by authorities, in January 1931 a lynch mob broke down the jailhouse door, overpowered the deputy sheriff and took Bannon, ultimately hanging him from the bridge over Cherry Creek. It was the last lynching in North Dakota and the story was recently told in the movie "End of the Rope", which was filmed in the area. In fact, the McKenzie County Heritage Center & Oil Museum has the entire movie set open for public viewing.

The grand opening of the North Dakota Oil Museum has been postponed until construction on the building is finished. Additionally, a full-size oil pumping unit still needs to be moved in.

Don't miss out on this blast-from-the-past opportunity to kick off your summer! Stop by the McKenzie County Heritage Park & North Dakota Oil Museum, located at 904 2nd Ave. SW, Watford City. For more information call 701-842-6434, visit them online at, or check them out on Facebook.


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