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!"

Salem Sue


Traveling down Old Red/Old Ten can be fun and interesting with its many roadside attractions; however, near New Salem there is an unexpected treat in store for travelers.  Here, vacationing families can take a break and visit Salem Sue, the World's Largest Holstein Cow!

The cow was built in 1974 and is situated on the School Hill.  She is constructed of reinforced plastic fiberglass by Sculpture Mfg. Co. of LaCross, Wisconsin and is 38 feet high and 50 feet long and weighs 12,000 pounds.  Salem Sue is a project of area dairy farmers and local residents and sponsored by the New Salem Lions Club.  Its primary purpose is to honor and advertise the dairymen of our area, their superior herds and the production of high quality milk.  It also promotes tourism, business, and education of our youth of the benefits and qualities of living in a rural community. 

The history of the Holstein cow goes back to 1906 when Dave Young introduced the Holstein breed to the area.  Mr. Young was New Salem's first buttermaker and later the owner of a creamery in Youngtown, a settlement north of New Salem.  He was dissatisfied with the quality of dairy cattle available and he went to Wisconsin and returned with two railroad carloads of pure-bred Holstein cattle.  Through his efforts, the Holstein cow has become the most popular dairy animal in this area.  The Holstein circuit, was first organized in 1908 to encourage better breeding and increased production, resulting in a stable, high income for farmers in the sale of milk, cream, breeding and production stock.

Salem Sue has been a star many times over the years.  In 1990, Stoh's Beer film crew arrived in New Salem and did some filming for their commercials as the Cow as the backdrop.  In 1993, Salem Sue was highlighted in Automotive Magazine.  She also appeared in Worksave Magazine, a publication of Melroe Company.  1993 was a good year as the television shoe, "America's Funniest People", made New Salem Sue one of their taping stops.  Many New Salem folks got in on this act as they stood in front of Sue and told "udderly" favorite "cow" jokes.  In 1994 she was pictured with other monstrous fiberglass construction in American Way magazine.  She has been featured in the Yakama Herald Republic, Successful Farming, Harper's Magazine, NBC's TODAY Show, and Midwest Mavels.  Independent film makers marvel at Sue and tour groups are beginning to make stops to see her.  If you are in the Denver Airport, look for the large map of the United States and North Dakota is represented by Salem Sue.  AND, the New Salem sports teams are called the Holsteins.

From afar, she can be seen for miles because of the spotlights on her.  During the past years a plaque was erected to tell her story and tables and benches were built.  In July during New Salem's annual Cow Town Hoe Down Celebration, "Breakfast Under the Cow" is served on Saturday morning by the local Lion's Club.  (Upwards of 250 people are served every year.)  The early morning views and sunrises will be remembered forever.