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Burlington, North Dakota
Burlington, North Dakota.jpg
The Forks
"Gotta Sweep Sweep Sweep!"
Location of Burlington, North Dakota
Location of Burlington, North Dakota
Country United States
State North Dakota
County Ward
Township Burlington
Township Kirkelie
Founded 1887
Incorporated 1887.1
 • Total 1.91 sq mi (4.94 km2)
 • Land 1.91 sq mi (4.94 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,608 ft (490 m)
 • Total 13
 • Estimate 
 • Density 630.12/sq mi (243.34/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 701
FIPS code 38-10940
GNIS feature ID 1034752
Highways US 2, US 52

Burlington is a city in Ward County, North Dakota, United States. It was founded in 1887, the third in a series that included two earlier settlements. Despite this, Burlington is still the oldest city in Ward County, as well as north-western and north central North Dakota. In 1887.1, as it was the only city in the then-newly formed Imperial Ward County (now split into Ward, Renville, Mountrail, and Burke counties), it was made the county seat, a position it held until 1888. The population was 13 at the 2010 census. Burlington is part of the Minot Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Dakota Territory, circa 1886

Burlington and its former settlements were founded by James Johnson and James Colton (the men who also settled Larimore, North Dakota) in Dakota Territory in the late 1870s. Earlier settlements were The Forks, and later Colton (named after James Colton), which are considered forerunners of the city. Its current name was given to it by James Johnson during the creation of the post office, and was the name of his hometown of Burlington, Iowa. "The Forks" is used as a nickname for Burlington, both alluding to its heritage, as well as its geographic location at the confluence of the Des Lacs and Souris Rivers. One of the first buildings in Burlington was the first Ward County Courthouse, built by James Johnson, and used originally as a granary. It was moved to the North Dakota State Fair fairgrounds in the mid-20th century and now serves as one of the two buildings of the Ward County Historical Society's Fairgrounds Museum. In the early 1890s, the Burlington Reporter became the first newspaper in western North Dakota. It would in the future be renamed to the Minot Daily News. On June 24, 2011, the entire city was evacuated when floodwaters swept through the town.


Burlington is located on the Drift Prairie of north central North Dakota at 48°16′39″N 101°25′40″W / 48.277475°N 101.427694°W / 48.277475; -101.427694 (48.277475, -101.427694), directly next to the confluence of the Des Lacs and the Souris Rivers, in Burlington Township, North Dakota, and Kirkelie Township, North Dakota. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.64 square miles (1.66 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 300
1930 270 −10.0%
1940 200 −25.9%
1950 200 0.0%
1960 262 31.0%
1970 247 −5.7%
1980 762 208.5%
1990 995 30.6%
2000 1,096 10.2%
2010 1,060 −3.3%
2019 (est.) 1,201 13.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,060 people, 399 households, and 293 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,656.3 inhabitants per square mile (639.5/km2). There were 410 housing units at an average density of 640.6 per square mile (247.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.2% White, 0.1% African American, 2.7% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.

There were 399 households, of which 40.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.9% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 26.6% were non-families. 21.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.11.

The median age in the city was 33 years. 28.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.4% were from 25 to 44; 27.6% were from 45 to 64; and 7.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.2% male and 50.8% female.


  • U.S. Route 2
  • U.S. Route 52


The railroads remain in Burlington today, and are becoming more important to the local oil and gravel industries, though Great Northern is now part of the BNSF Railway and the Soo Line is run by the Canadian Pacific Railway.


There are three private airstrips and landing strips within a three-mile radius of Burlington. One, Pietschtree airstrip, is located directly next to Burlington to the north. Otherwise, major aerial transportation is through Minot International Airport.

Sites of interest

  • Old Settlers Park and, next to it, the Burlington Project ("The Project"), consisting of a 'Northern Project' and 'Southern Project'
  • Burlington Walking Path, which starts on U.S. Route 2 and 52 and goes on for more than eight miles until finally connecting with Minot
  • Burlington Recreational Park and Burlington Recreational Baseball Diamond Complex
  • Lake Darling, North Dakota and Souris National Wildlife Refuge
  • Peace Lutheran Church, Burlington Cemetery
  • Burlington Township Cemetery
  • Art Relief


This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Burlington has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.


Burlington's school district merged with Des Lacs' school district in the late 1960s to form United Public School District 7, thus Des Lacs-Burlington High School now serves students living in Burlington. This means that it has since shared a school system with nearby Des Lacs. Children in grades kindergarten through sixth attend school in Burlington, while those in seventh through twelve attend high school in Des Lacs. Before 2000, there was a lack of room for the possibility of the seventh and eighth grades being located in Burlington, as the room needed for those grades was not completed until that year in the form of a new junior high wing. Des Lacs-Burlington Elementary School had approximately 500 enrolled students as of the 2008 school year.

Notable person

  • Jeremy Horst - MLB pitcher

Images for kids

See also

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