Immigrants to Dakota fought tooth and nail against every adversity imaginable. In spite of the land’s inhospitableness, they did better than merely survive — rather, they prospered, and today we enjoy the fruits of their labor. Buckstop Junction pays tribute to our forebears’ unrelenting efforts to tame this land by preserving their original efforts at it. That they have saved and consolidated such treasures as The Lewis Hotel, the Bethel Lutheran Church, and the 1st State Bank of McClusky for all to see and enjoy is emblematic of our reverence for those who came before us.

Buckstop Junction is open seasonally so all may go and see. Come the holiday season the experience becomes all the sweeter, however, because the historic town pays even further tribute to tradition by celebrating Christmas in full. This year on Saturday, December 1st from 1:00 to 4:00pm you may bring the whole family to enjoy a jaunty hayride around the quaint little model town, complete with festive treats and hot drinks. It’s only five dollars per person, and children five years and younger can go for free with family. Once the ride ends, Mr. and Mrs. Claus will greet you in person for wishlist recitations and the season’s finest photo opportunity, so bring your camera!

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But as we all know, once in a while Santa omits a few key items during his annual rounds. Bismarck Junction’s own Vintage Christmas Shoppe is the remedy to that occasional oversight by the old saint. The cheerful shopping experience opens off with a bang on Saturday, November 17th from 11:00am to 4:00pm with a big open house. Go for complimentary coffee and cookies and to browse their great selection of traditional Christmas goods. The shop’s many trees will be adorned with glistening ornaments for sale, and their vintage décor is certain to give your living room a timeless hominess. And whether you are just beginning a new nativity set and are in need the principal actors, or you’ve already got one and would like to treat one of your Magi to a nice new camel, then the Vintage Christmas Shoppe has got you covered!

The shop will offer their usual array of charming items for sale during the holiday season as well. Go for their North Dakota memorabilia, jewelry, glassware, pottery, mirrors, M&M collectables, pictures, new and vintage books, decorations, games, toys, dolls, Swedish art, handcrafted birdhouses, dinner bells, rag rugs, and more. Local artist Scott Nelson’s dynamic WWII North Dakota Aviator prints are available there as well. Remember though, most of the shop’s items are one of a kind — hesitating to take one of them home might mean you may never be able to!

The Vintage Christmas Shoppe will be open on every Saturday following their open house right up until December 22nd. All proceeds from its sales go directly to benefit the Missouri Valley Historical Society, the non-profit organization responsible for preserving Bismarck’s and her surrounding area’s history at Buckstop Junction so well. While you are there, ask about becoming a member of the organization — you will not only help to support their admirable cause, but also receive 15 percent off all your purchases at the gift shop.

Visit Buckstop Junction just east of the corner of Expressway and Main Ave in Bismarck, or go to and their facebook page to find out more about them.


By David Scheller