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Bullet About Williston
Welcome to Williston, the Western Star….. Where just a century ago it was a frontier land with open ranges. Ever growing, ever changing, Williston is seated in the heart of some of this nation’s wealthiest oilfields, the richest farming soil for miles around, and an abundance of history.

With major ports of entry via U.S. 2 & 85 and State Highway 1804, Williston is a connecting point for business and visitors alike. In any direction, whether a corporate entity servicing the oil production industry or a visitor seeking excitement along the Lewis & Clark Trail, Williston has everything to offer in North Dakota.

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Situated in a geological formation known as the Williston Basin covering approximately 130,000 square miles oil production is a major industry in the area. As the earth’s crust was taking shape the area changed from ocean to swampland and as the saucer- like basin was formed sediment layers of stratified rocks- sandstone, shale and limestone- were formed. As the sediment was deposited the lush plant life was buried, thus creating large coal and oil deposits.

With the first discovery of oil in 1951 near Tioga, North Dakota has become the ninth largest oil producing state in the nation, producing more than 33 million barrels of oil and 52.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas annually. The resulting “oil rush” coincides with the first coal mines opening in 1952. Today there are 4 coal mines in the State of North Dakota that produce approximately 90 million tons of coal on an annual basis. Among the 19 oil producing counties in North Dakota, Williams County ranks 2nd, producing over 340,000 barrels on an average monthly basis.

The fertile soil of North Dakota attracted many settlers to the area seeking land on which to farm and graze their livestock. The average farm consists of approximately 1,300 acres with crop sales accounting for 76% of market value and livestock sales at 24% of market value.

All industries existing in North Dakota today are a direct result of the settlement of North Dakota as a part of the Great Northern Plains. Archeological studies place several great Native American tribes in North Dakota over 10,000 years ago. Comprised of nomadic groups primarily dependent upon the vast bison herds while others lived permanently near the Missouri River and supplemented hunting with produce from extensive gardens. Many of those tribes still live here today.

While the first recorded visitor was a French explorer who reached the Missouri River from Canada in 1738 in search of a water route to the Pacific Ocean, most contact was a result of the Canadian Fur Trade until the Lewis & Clark “voyage of discovery” up the Missouri in 1804. The fur trade linked the Northern Plains and North Dakota to a worldwide and political system with the Native American playing an instrumental role in the fur trade. Major trading posts such as Fort Union, located 25 miles SW of Williston flourished during this trade era. While Fort Buford, 22 miles W of Williston played a key role in the settlement of the Northern Plains during the Indian Wars.

Today Williston offers an abundance in lifestyle diversity. Whether you are in the energy industry, agriculture, the service sector, or just plain seeking an adventure along the Lewis & Clark Trail, discovering the trails Teddy Roosevelt rode in the Badlands, or out for some of the finest fishing on Lake Sakakawea or the best hunting region west of the Mississippi………

Williston has the distinct advantage to offer it all.

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