City of Kenmare
PO Box 816
(Closed on legal holidays)
Second Monday of each month
The community has much to offer, whether you stop for an hour, a day or longer!
Location: Ward County, 50 miles northwest of Minot, North Dakota.
Origins: Founded in 1897, when the town's first official post office opened. Kenmare's original settlers were primarily Scandinavians coming to the state during the homesteading years. Although most were Norwegians, there were some Danes, Swedes, and Germans as well.
Name: Kenmare, N.D., is believed to be named after Kenmare, County Kerry, Ireland. As the story goes, the daughter of a Soo Line Railroad official went through North Dakota on one of the first passenger trains after the rail line was opened. She had traveled in Europe and was reminded of Kenmare, Ireland, which also sets on rolling hills overlooking an ocean bay. At her suggestion, the North Dakotans adopted the name.
Vital Statistics: Population approximately 1,200.
Primary industries: Farming, energy development (oil and wind).
Average rainfall: 16 inches.
Average winter temperature: 6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Average summer temperature: 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Average price for a single-family home: $48,000.
Distinctions: The downtown park square, center of the city's business district, contains an authentic Danish windmill, built in 1902 near Kenmare, by a Danish immigrant farmer. The 19,544 acre Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge has its headquarters in Kenmare. Des Lacs draws bird watchers from around the world to see the Baird Sparrow, Marbled Godwit, Canvasback Duck, White Pelican, Western Grebe, and nearly 250 other species of birds. Des Lacs is also an attraction for goose hunters, when, in the fall, the refuge is host to 400,000 snow geese at the peak of migration.