About Us

New Town is a city in Mountrail County, North Dakota and is the largest city on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, with a population of 3,200.  New Town is located at the crossing of Lake Sakakawea by Four Bears Bridge.  


Nearest cities: Four Bears Village, ND (4.7 miles ), Parshall, ND (18.9 miles ), Mandaree, ND (31.3 miles ), Ross, ND (30.5 miles), Stanley, ND  (31.9 miles ), Plaza, ND (28.3 miles) , Palermo, ND (38.9 miles) , White Earth, ND (43.1 miles), Minot, ND (72.6 miles), Williston, ND (70.6 miles), Watford City, ND (49.3 miles)

Average climate in New Town, North Dakota

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History of Community


In 1944 Congress authorized the Garrison Dam and Reservoir Project. The dam was planned to be the world's largest rolled-earth filled dam and would create the second largest reservoir in the world. It would form a lake 200 miles long, 14 miles wide in some places and have roughly 1,500 miles of shoreline. In order to make this dam and reservoir, the towns of Sanish, Elbowoods, Lucky Mound, Shell Creek, Nishu, Charging Eagle, Beaver Creek, Red Butte, Independence, and Van Hook. A total of seven possible sites were inspected before the present site was chosen.

After the site was purchased, plans were quickly developed for the proposed town. With the help of Army engineers, by August 1950, the combined town site was platted. On September 10, 1950, a ground-breaking ceremony and celebration was held at the proposed town site. The official ground-breaking was furrow cut by a county road grader in what was to become Main Street. The first building set up was for the relocation company. They held an auction to sell of lots in what was now called New Town.

Two days later over sixty percent of the lots had sold and the school was gifted to the town as well as the church lots for the relocating churches. In November 1952, seventy-four voters went to the polls to elect the first city officials of New Town. On January 1, 1953, the post office was established in the former office of the Relocation Co. Businesses were moved from the surrounding villages and soon people had to go to New Town for groceries and supplies. The towns were officially dissolved as of April 30, 1953 and July 1, 1953 was the deadline given the residents to be moved out of their respective towns,

In the fall of 1953, school opened for New Town students. The New School was ready in September of 1954, and dedicated April 15, 1955. The first scheduled train arrived at New Town on September 22, 1953. By 1955, the town had grown to about 1,400 residents.

The discovery of oil in this part of the state led to the development of oil fields in the vicinity. This brought many people to the community and with work on the new bridge, roads, and construction in the town; jobs were plentiful. The bridge across the reservoir was completed in October 1955. It was named Four Bears after two great Indian chiefs, a Mandan and a Hidatsa, who bore the same name.

This information was gathered from the book 'New Town 1951-1976' by James McMaster, editor of the New Town News in 1976.