TourismThings to See & Do
Whether you enjoy spending time outdoors or touring sights, we have plenty available in our ‘neck of the woods’. The LaMoure area has a variety to offer, from our beautiful lake and parks to tours of the Toy Farmer Museum and Hutterian Brethern Colonies. Also in LaMoure you can tour our County Courthouse, which is on the National Register of Historical Places. The LaMoure County Memorial Park, a short drive from LaMoure, located south of Grand Rapids, is filled with many things to do and see. Fort Ransom and Fullerton are also two communities in our area that have unique touring.
James River Damsite Park
Located on the southwest side of town along the James River is the James River Damsite Park. Take a minute to relax and enjoy a picnic in the secluded picnic shelter overlooking the James River. Many days you can find pelicans floating on the river. This is a popular area for fishing in both summer and winter.
Lake LaMoure, sheltered with a variety of evergreen trees, is located five miles south of LaMoure. Four seasons of fun can be found here. In the spring, the waters are great for fishing. In the summer, the lake comes alive with boats, jet skis, fishermen and swimmers. Fall is beautiful on the lake with the changing colors. Anglers enjoy ice fishing in the winter months. A public boat ramp and campground with electric hook-ups are available. There are 10 public camping site, $20.00 per nite. For more information contact Craig Bierman at 883-4259.
Sunset Park, located on the northwest edge of LaMoure, is the location of many community events. It offers many picnic shelters, modern playgound equipment, swimming pool, and modern bathroom facilities. The park is located right next to the Leroy Good Softball Complex.
Toy Farmer Museum
This museum is located four miles east and two miles south of LaMoure. This museum is in a restored barn which was built in 1914. The museum houses display cases with many collectibles, Lowell Davis’ sculptured barns and farming scenes, among many other displays. Free admission.For more information visit Toy Farmer.
Chan SanSan Scenic Backway
Running through the city of LaMoure is the Chan SanSan Scenic Backway, one of only 10 scenic byways and backways in the state of North Dakota. Beginning at State Highway 46, the Chan SanSan follows the James River Valley south for 35 miles through the towns of Adrian, Dickey, Grand Rapids and LaMoure to the county line with Dickey County.
The back way gets its name from the Yanktonai Sioux name for the James River – Chan SanSan. The area is rich in Native American and early settler history, explained at interpretive panels along the route and at the museum in LaMoure County Memorial Park north of Grand Rapids.
There are great opportunities for recreation along the back way. Lake LaMoure, the LaMoure Dam, Twin Lake, Limesand-Seefeldt Dam and Heinrich-Martin Dam are great places for fishing, boating and camping. Geocaching and birding are other popular activities along the route, and keep an eye out for the colorful barn quilts that dot the landscape.
LaMoure County Memorial Park is another popular camping destination and is home to the LaMoure County Summer Musical Theatre productions in July and August at its historic auditorium; a baseball diamond, kitchen, and cabins are also available.
Just across the James River from Memorial Park is Memorial Park Country Club, a beautiful 9-hole course with a full-service clubhouse.
Historic buildings and bridges are also a part of the Chan SanSan. See rare pony truss bridges, or tour the beautiful domed LaMoure County Courthouse. Tours are available by appointment by calling the LaMoure County auditor’s office.
Plan on approximately a three-hour drive to follow the back way from beginning to end, with stops at the 12 interpretive panels along the way.
LaMoure County Courthouse
The county seat was first located in Grand Rapids, which was the only town in the county, and for that reason designated the county seat. In the 1886 general election, a vote was taken and LaMoure was declared the county seat. Grand Rapids citizens would not recognize the decision, claiming bribery and illegal voting.
There was a story told of the stealing of the records from the courthouse, by LaMoure men, in the dead of the night, taking them back to LaMoure and then having to return them to Grand Rapids until a court hearing was held. In the end, the records were returned to LaMoure. Thus ended a colorful episode in county history. (A detailed account of the incident is given in “In the Valley of the Jim,” by Laura B. Sanderson found in the LaMoure History Book.)
In 1910, the county offices moved into the courthouse that we still use today. Architects, Buechner and Orth from St. Paul, MN, drew up the plans and specifications and R.K. Hafsos from Aberdeen, SD, did the building for $100,000. The architects firm designed 19 courthouses in WI, MN, SD, & ND between 1904 and 1919, in the Beaux Arts Neo-Classical design. On November 25, 1980, all 13 of their courthouses in ND were named to the National Register of Historical Places.
The city of LaMoure is proud of this stately landmark that dominates the beautiful view of the valley as one approaches from the north, east, south, or west.
LaMoure County Memorial Park
Located 5 miles north of Grand Rapids, nestled in the James River Valley, you will find the LaMoure County Memorial Park. The Park features many attractions, including being the home of the LaMoure County Summer Musical Theater. In addition, you can enjoy the county museum, camping and picnicing facilities, playground area, tennis courts, and ball diamonds. Neighboring the park you will find one of the best 9-hole golf courses in the area. The park is open May 15 – September 15 with gates open from 7:00AM-10:00PM (or 1 hour after the Summer Musical theater performance)