Old Red Old Ten North Dakota Scenic Byway | Things to do

Travel the Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway for many exciting things to see and do.  Load up the family or take a trip on your own to explore the "Other Freeway!"

Almont / Sims History

Lat:46.7722  Lon:-101.498

It was the Northern Pacific Railroad builders, moving westward from Bismarck in the years following 1878, who get credit for naming Almont. In the days of single–track railroads, it was imperative that every few miles side-tracks be constructed to allow fast trains to pass the slower-moving trains. This side-track, constructed just west of the railroad’s westward turn into the valley of Big Muddy Creek, eventually became the town of Almont.  The name, of French origin, describes Alta meaning high and Mont meaning hill, and it is supposed a member of the construction crew or inspection party with French background was so impressed with the hills and valley in the area, the side-track was henceforth called Almont. Almont remained a railroad side-track until 1906, when a young man with visions for the future founded a town on the prairie. Eber W. Hyde from South Dakota traveled by train looking for a likely spot to establish a lumberyard to serve the people moving to the “New West.”  On July 4, 1906, a survey crew plotted nine blocks of the original town site and by July 15, a pasture had been changed into a town and five businesses were already in operation; a lumberyard and elevator, hotel, restaurant and general store. 

The city of Sims was a boom town in the 1880s. It was first founded when the Northern Pacific Railroad needed a place to get coal and water. Along with a large coal mine that employed over two hundred workers, they also had a brick factory and cattle shipping point for what was then the western Dakota Territory. Many businesses were established at this time, including a large three-story hotel. At its peak, Sims had a population of around 1,500 people. When the brick yard met its failure and better coal was found in other areas, the town began its slow deterioration. There is a still-active Lutheran church at Sims, which is located some distance from the main town site. The first church was a parsonage built by Scandinavian immigrants in 1884 with services held upstairs. In 1900, a larger church was built to accommodate the growing congregation. The high steeple was a very unique decoration on top. The inside has its original oak alter and high pulpit.