WASHBURN, ND (KXNET) — Joseph Henry Taylor, who was a hunter, trapper, and scholar interested in nature, traveled along with Lewis and Clark and made his way to Washburn. Taylor was Washburn’s first resident and built his home in the Painted Forest in 1869, which was moved into Washburn in 1932 for its 50th anniversary.


Washburn was officially founded on November 1st, 1882, by “King John” Satterlund. He recognized the area as a great place to settle as it has good soil and an abundance of wood and coal. Until the year 1898, the city was one of the last stops for the riverboats that traveled here from St. Louis.

The boats would exchange groceries and hardware materials for buffalo hides, furs and grains.
It would take about two weeks to travel upstream the Missouri River which was 800 miles long. However, it would only take four days to get back going downstream.


Around 1970, the landscape of Washburn changed forever because of the development of the energy industry on both sides of the river. The Coal Creek Station, which is now owned and operated by Great River Energy of Elk River, MN, is close to Washburn and it is known as North Dakota’s largest coal-fired generating plant.


The Falkirk Mining Company operation is located nearby, and it provides lignite coal to the power plant. Because of these two operating energy stations, it offers hundreds of jobs to those in the area and adds to the economic growth of the area and region.


Now, Washburn is an active community with a school, plenty of parks, and even a community swimming pool, which is seasonal.

Washburn is located about 45 miles North of Bismarck. It’s a beautiful community of about 1,400 people.