Plains Folk

The Archives

Plains Folk, a commentary devoted to life on the great plains of North America, is now a special weekly feature on Main Street. Written by Tom Isern of West Fargo, North Dakota, and read in newspapers across the region for years, Plains Folk venerates fall suppers and barn dances and reminds us that “more important to our thoughts than lines on a map are the essential characteristics of the region–the things that tell what the plains are, not just where they are.” You can hear Plains Folk once a week during Main Street, weekdays at 3 pm CT with a repeat at 7 pm CT.

To read more Plains Folk commentaries, click on the “archives” link.

Recent Shows

  • Prairie Oracle

    It was the Greek historian and biographer Plutarch who said, “As for me, I live in a small town, where I am willing to continue, lest it grow smaller.” I know a lot of people who feel the same way, people who love their prairie towns and stick with them, good times and bad.   […]

  • Southern Exposure

    Accidents of geography can be unfair. Towns and sites that happen to lie near the borders of states can suffer (or enjoy, depending on your outlook) a certain inattention on the part of more central places. So, following a meeting in Napoleon the other day, and en route to another one in Ellendale, we made […]

  • Big Mound

    Finally we had to call it quits, Angie the History Dog and I, because the snow fell too thick for photography. We were on the Big Mound, and I could not discern Lake Kunkel through my lens. Time to head back to Tappen for a burger and get home while we still could.   By […]

  • Tall Crown’s War

    There was this Dakota Indian, a Wahpekute named Tall Crown, and everyone agreed he was just crazy. By “everyone” I mean all the white guys who observed his actions or wrote about them. I disagree. I think he was perfectly rationale, and in fact, he made history.   Let me begin this story at the […]

  • Camp Atchison

    Could I be buried here, please? The site is inconvenient enough to keep away nuisance visitors, and the view is, you might say, to die for. Here I stand, in my mind, at the graveside of Private George E. Brent, a.k.a. Addie Brent, Company D, 1st Minnesota Volunteer Cavalry. I don’t know the origin of […]



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