Beach, North Dakota

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Beach is a city in and the county seat of Golden Valley County in the U.S. state of North Dakota.[4] The population was 1,116 at the 2000 census.[2] Beach was incorporated in 1909. The mayor of Beach is Walter Losinski.

Contents

History

Beach was first settled around 1900. It was named for Captain Warren C. Beach of the U.S. Army's 11th Infantry. Beach had lead an expedition of railroad surveyors through the area in 1880. The post office was established in 1902, and the town was incorporated first as a village in 1908 and as a city in 1909. It was named the county seat of Golden Valley County in 1912.[1]

In April 1911, the then ex-president and long term fixture of the Badlands region, Theodore Roosevelt, made his last trip to the area, stopping in Beach and nearby Medora. His visit to Medora passed without incident, but the visit to Beach was marred by a strongly negative reception to Roosevelt's speech. He first expressed surprise that the town of Beach even existed, based upon such marginal land. This was undoubtably due to the lack of flora and fauna, the wear and strain he endured in the 10 years he ranched in the area, and Rocky Mountain and Great Plains blizzard of 1886-7.[5][6][7] Roosevelt's speech had a strong conservationist element, suggesting toi local ranchers there should only be one cow for every 12 acres (49,000 m2) of land, which led to local disenchantment with the president.

The incident is likely to have critically influenced his commentary and estrangement with the region, culminating in October 1918. While giving a morale speech regarding World War I in then strongly anti-war North Dakota, a side trip to the Badlands was suggested. Roosevelt demurred, stating "[i]t is a mistake for one to hit the back trail after many years have passed. One finds things have changed, the old picture destroyed, the romance gone . . . It's best that it should be so, but I don't want to see the place again. I'd rather try and remember it as it was."[8]

Geography

Beach is located in western North Dakota along the border with Montana. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2), all of it land.[9]

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