Rugby, North Dakota *

Moorhead, Minnesota

August 12, 2021

A town I missed. That's why the asterisk. Bummed. A few months ago I would have doubled back. Not now. 😕

Rugby is a city in, and the county seat of, Pierce County, North Dakota, United States. The population was 2,876 at the 2010 census, making it the twentieth largest city in North Dakota. Rugby was founded in 1886. History

Rugby was founded in 1886 at a junction on the Great Northern Railway, where a branch line to Bottineau met the main line. The railroad promoters initially platted the town as Rugby Junction, getting the name Rugby from the town of Rugby in Warwickshire, England.[8] It was one of several sites along the Great Northern's transcontinental route between Devils Lake and Minot that were named after places in England (the others were Berwick, Leeds, Knox, Norwich, Penn, Surrey, Churches Ferry, Tunbridge, and York). 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 Rupert's Land.[9]:277 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. Obelisk near Rugby In 1931, the town of Rugby erected a 15-foot-tall (4.6 m) rock obelisk marking the "Geographical Center of North America". This was moved to a slightly different location in 1971 with the expansion of US Highway 2.[10]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.

Geography Rugby is located in eastern Pierce County at the intersection of U.S. Route 2 and North Dakota Highway 3. The Great Northern Railroad line passes through the community. Minot lies 66 miles to the west along Route 2.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.94 square miles (5.02 km2), all land. Rugby claims to be the geographic center of North America and a monument stands in the city to signify this. The monument features flags of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. However, modern calculations that take on account the distortions caused by cartographic projections show that center is 145 miles southwest of Rugby, in a town called Center, North Dakota.



Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, serves a station in Rugby via its Empire Builder, a once-daily train in each direction between Portland/Seattle and Chicago.


U.S. Route 2 and North Dakota Highway 3serve the Rugby area.

Demographics As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 2,876 people, 1,239 households, and 697 families living in the city. The population density was 1,482.5 inhabitants per square mile (572.4/km2). There were 1,407 housing units at an average density of 725.3 per square mile (280.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.9% White, 0.3% African American, 5.8% Native American, 0.9% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.

There were 1,239 households, of which 23.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.2% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.7% were non-families. 39.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.83.

The median age in the city was 47 years. 20% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.1% were from 25 to 44; 26.2% were from 45 to 64; and 26.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.7% male and 51.3% female. Sites of interest

  • Geographical center of North America – Rugby is located in the geographical center of North America. There is a cairn marking this spot. Note: The validity of this claim is disputed by a mathematical analysis.

  • Prairie Village Museum houses some of Pierce County's oldest historical buildings and artifacts including the 1886 Great Northern Railroad Depot.

  • The Victorian Dress Museum – The building that houses the museum is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


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, Rugby has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.

In popular culture

Rugby is mentioned in the Law & Order episode (S13E08) 'Asterisk' as the hometown of a fictional MLB baseball player indicted for murder. (Note: he did it.)

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