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WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 06, 2012, 08:35 PM

A piece of history is for sale in North Dakota

Cooperstown, ND (WDAY TV) -- It is known as the "Pyramid on the Prairie". Part of North Dakota's, America's and the World's History.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Cooperstown, ND (WDAY TV) -- It is known as the "Pyramid on the Prairie". Part of North Dakota's, America's and the World's History.

An "anti-ballistic" complex that was smack-dab in the middle of the "Cold War." And it can be "yours" for the right price.

The sprawling Army complex near Nekoma, North Dakota is one of the items for SALE on a government internet auction site right now. It was a self contained city, complete with fire department and church. But it was only open for a few months.

Few living on the prairie of North Dakota back in the 60's got a peak at this. The Minute man Missile sites, 1000 silos across America, 300 here in North Dakota alone. This one near Cooperstown, now open to the public and owned by the state historical society.

Mark Sundlov/ND Historical Society: "The role of ND in the cold war, you drive by and think it is innocent looks like a ranch house but you take an elevator 50 feet below and behind a blast door and you are the tip of a nuclear spear."

But north of here, near Nekoma, the only nuclear missile defense system America had against the Soviets. An anti-ballistic missile site.

Mark: "The sprint and the spartan missile, both nuclear tipped, the idea was if there was an incoming soviet attack that those missiles would be launched."

And now it is for sale to the highest bidder. According to the government website, the photos show a sprawling city really. Big gymnasiums, community center, chapel, beauty shop and of course nuclear missile silos. There are bidders on line, some offering 200-thousand dollars.

They pyramid on the prairie as folks call it, huge project. It became fully operational and was only operational for less than a year.

And let's say your auction bid is accepted, you won't be able to move too quickly to take ownership that is because the state of North Dakota is asking the Army to spend between 4 and 6 million dollars to clean up contaminated water in some of the silos.

Still, what a piece of North Dakota history, a reminder of a time when hundreds of missiles dotted our prairies in the eastern part of the state. A place and time when the world depended on North Dakota for security from world nuclear threats.

One of the bidders? Cavalier County, which wants to create jobs and industry from the site. For a look at the auction site, go to wday.com, and click on the easy link tab and Missiles.

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