Small Town Claim to Fame – Rugby, North Dakota – Geographic Center of North America





The Small Town: Rugby, North Dakota Population 2,876 (2010)

The Claim to Fame: The Geographic Center of North America

Some claims to fame require some effort, such as a state championships in basketball or building the world’s largest buffalo or the largest quilt. Other claims to fame are just dumb luck. Such is the case with Rugby, North Dakota, the geographic center of North America. Rugby just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Or was it?

There are those who say that, in spite of the big stone obelisk and all the t-shirts and post cards, this particular king has no clothes, that the actual geographic center of North America is actually in Balta or Orrin, North Dakota. Or out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a slough. Depending on how you define North America, the center of the continent may actually even be in South Dakota. Pierre, South Dakota once made the claim in the 80’s and Rugby quickly threatened them with a law suit.

In Rugby’s defense, the real experts say that pinpointing the actual center is impossible due to a number of factors, and Rugby is as good a guess as any. Let’s just keep the big pile of rocks in Rugby for now and congratulate the community on being at least somewhere “near” the center of North America.

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