Kenmare ND - About Kenmare

Real People. Real Jobs. Real Adventures.

About Kenmare

The community has much to offer, whether you stop for an hour, a day or longer!

Kenmare was organized as a city in 1897. With today's population of nearly 900, Kenmare offers a variety of jobs, clean air, and a success-inspiring atmosphere for all ages.

Location: Ward County, 50 miles northwest of Minot, North Dakota.

Origins: Founded in 1897, when the town's first official post office opened. Kenmare's original settlers were primarily Scandinavians coming to the state during the homesteading years. Although most were Norwegians, there were some Danes, Swedes, and Germans as well.

Name: Kenmare, N.D., is believed to be named after Kenmare, County Kerry, Ireland. As the story goes, the daughter of a Soo Line Railroad official went through North Dakota on one of the first passenger trains after the rail line was opened. She had traveled in Europe and was reminded of Kenmare, Ireland, which also sets on rolling hills overlooking an ocean bay. At her suggestion, the North Dakotans adopted the name.

Vital Statistics: Population approximately 900.

Primary industries: Farming, energy development (oil and wind).

Average rainfall: 16 inches.

Average winter temperature: 6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Average summer temperature: 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Average price for a single-family home: $48,000.

Distinctions: The downtown park square, center of the city's business district, contains an authentic Danish windmill, built in 1902 near Kenmare, by a Danish immigrant farmer. The 19,544 acre Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge has its headquarters in Kenmare. Des Lacs draws bird watchers from around the world to see the Baird Sparrow, Marbled Godwit, Canvasback Duck, White Pelican, Western Grebe, and nearly 250 other species of birds. Des Lacs is also an attraction for goose hunters, when, in the fall, the refuge is host to 400,000 snow geese at the peak of migration.

As the Home of the Honkers, we have a lot to honk about:

  • Located on the Central North American Trade Corridor, US Highway 52, Kenmare sits 40 miles from the major customs port of Portal and just 50 miles from an international airport in Minot.
  • We're an active community. We have an active Lions Club, the Kenmare Community Development Corporation. Kenmare has a place for you.
  • Kenmare invites you to enjoy their attractive city by the lake. The Historic Danish Mill, built in 1902, is the centerpiece of Kenmare's unique town square park in the heart of the business district. Refresh and enjoy yourself in this peaceful green space after shopping and dining in the many intriguing stores, including an old-time soda fountain.
  • Whether you visit by private aircraft to the Kenmare Municipal Airport -- with its 3,800 foot paved and lighted runway -- or by car or foot, Kenmare is a full-service community that is eager to serve you.