Eighty-five years ago — December 28, 1930 — thousands of people gathered on what was then the north side of Bismarck to watch as a Sunday morning fire destroyed the state Capitol.

Combined accounts from various stories in the Tribune archive.

This photo shows the original Capitol still in the early days after its construction, sometime before 1889. The unfinished portion to the righ…

This photo shows the original Capitol before statehood. The unfinished portion to the right side is where a south addition with a front facing…

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  • State Historical Society of North Dakota

The man carrying the U.S. flag, identified as Sitting Bull, leads a parade on July 4th, 1889 through Bismarck as a part of events marking the …

A view of the original Capitol in Bismarck seen from the southeast.

The original Capitol in Bismarck with the Liberty Memorial Building to the right. Photo taken around 1930

  • State Historical Society of North Dakota

An aerial view of Bismarck looking toward the north. The old State Capitol building and water tower and Liberty Memorial Building are visible …

  • State Historical Society of North Dakota

View from the south side of the burning Capitol building. A crowd has gathered on the snow covered lawn.

  • State Historical Society of North Dakota

The south side entrance of the burning Capitol building. Flames are shooting out of the windows on the top story and a large cloud of smoke fl…

  • State Historical Society of North Dakota

A crowd gathers to watch the old State Capitol burn. A group of men carry records and furniture out of the building.

Removing the copper box from the cornerstone of the old Capitol building are, left to right, Governor George F. Shafer, Adj. General Angus Fra…

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