Rugby, North Dakota

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Rugby is a city in Pierce County, North Dakota in the United States. It is the county seat of Pierce County. The population was 2,939 at the 2000 census. Rugby was founded in 1886.

Rugby is often billed as being the geographic center of North America.



Rugby was founded in 1886 at a junction on the Great Northern Railway, where the spur to Bottineau met the main line. The railroad promoters initially named it Rugby Junction for the famous railroad junction in Rugby in Warwickshire, England in the hope of attracting English settlers.[citation needed] About 80 percent of the population is of North Germanic and Scandinavian ancestry.[citation needed] When the community became a city the Junction was dropped from the name.

North Dakota's first permanent settlers arrived in 1812 from the Earl of Selkirk’s colony in neighboring Manitoba, Canada. As farmers, they were more advanced than many of their contemporaries in the rest of the United States, having adopted sophisticated farming methods and machinery.[citation needed] Many of these implements, including an early McCormick Deering threshing machine, have found their way to the restored Pioneer Village in Rugby.

In 1931, the town of Rugby erected a 15 feet (4.6 m) tall rock obelisk marking the "Geographical Center of North America". This was moved to a slightly different location in or after 1971.[citation needed] According to a listing by the U.S. Geological Survey, Rugby is actually approximately 15 miles (24 km) from the geographic center of North America [6 miles (9.7 km)] west of Balta), and even this designation carries no official status.[3]

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