Editor’s note: The following is part of an ongoing social media discussion regarding the development of The Crying Hill Mandan Heritage sites. This discussion began with the following media story, which has sparked discussion among local Mandan and Bismarck community social media groups.
Patrick Atkinson (Feb 17, 2018; Facebook): The part of Crying Hill that is being developed is the north section that runs parallel to I94. This is where they held the annual Johnny Holmes concerts. I still own the Southeast Corner of Crying Hill… the portion that has most of the MANDAN sign on it facing east, and most of the MANDAN forest on the south side. The sign that you see in this posting is one I had made up a couple of years ago, and post at each of the trail entrances onto my land there. Oddly, these signs ‘disappear’ almost as fast as I put them up. 🙂
About 12 years ago, in communication with with then-Mayor Ken LaMont, I personally purchased the culturally valuable southeast corner of Crying Hill with the intent of donating it to the people of Mandan. Once I purchased it, I wrote the letter of donation per Ken’s direction, presented it, waited, and then to both Ken and my surprise, the Mandan City Council turned it down with a referral to the Mandan Park Board. There I worked with their people who instructed me on the steps to take to donate this land to the Mandan Park Board; a few weeks later the Mandan Park Board turned it down.
I still own that land to this day, waiting for the day the Mandan City leadership appreciates this land’s cultural, historical, civic, and recreational value. Of course, during all of these years I’m required to personally pay the taxes, cleaning, insurance, fencing, etc. of this land which last year, with the specials from the for-profit development on the north side, was over $8,000. I know the people of Mandan appreciate the effort; will the leadership?
For more about the history of Crying Hill, please read and share this August 2017 article written by Cooper Wingert…
Today, Crying Hill remains in as much danger as ever. Major residential development is planned for most of Crying Hill; a failure to preserve the historical southeast corner of Crying Hill, with its MaNDaN sign and forest, would be devastating to the local cultural, recreational, and spiritual heritage.