Salem Sue is perhaps the most popular of North Dakota's giant roadside animal sculptures. The facinating scuplture is also the World's Largest Holstein Cow. She stands large and in charge high above Interstate 94 just outside of the city of New Salem in western North Dakota.
The Holstein cow is so large, that it is visible for miles, and big enough to impress even the likes of Paul Bunyan. The fiberglass lady Holstein stands 38 feet high and 50 feet long on top of School Hill on the north edge of New Salem. The cow statue was erected in 1974 by the New Salem Lions Club to help promote area Holstein herds, Salem Sue was the second giant roadside animal sculpture built in North Dakota. No doubt the idea to erect such a large cow came from the extreme popularity of North Dakota's first giant roadside animal - the World's Largest Buffalo (Jamestown, North Dakota) erected 15 years earlier in 1959.
It's purpose is to honor and advertise the dairymen of our area, their superior herds and the production of high quality milk. The first Holsteins were brought to New Salem by D.M. Young who owned a store and creamery at Youngtown, a settlement north of New Salem. He sold them to interested farmers, 2 to 3 head each (one cattle car containing cows, heifers, and calves for a total of 27 head). The Holstein Circuit was first organized in 1908 and 14 members finished the first year's butterfat test in 1910. For many years the production was sold to the New Salem Creamery built in 1896 and the Youngtown Creamery built in 1898, both known for the production of high quality butter. It was the purpose of the Circuit to encourage better breeding, increased production resulting in a stable, high income for the farmer in the sale of milk, cream, and breading and production stock. Salem Sue is known world-wide. She continues to be promoted and maintained by the New Salem Lions. She also helps promote tourism, business and serves to educate and interest our youth in the science of animal husbandry and the benefits of qualities of living in a rural community.
Fact #1: Salem Sue is constructed entirely out of fiberglass and is, therefore, hollow.
Fact #2: Salem Sue is so large that it can be seen from over five miles away.
Fact #3: The same artist that created Salem Sue also constructed the World's Largest Catfish in Wahpeton, North Dakota.
New Salem is not only Salem Sue, the town has a wide variety of entities to entertain young and old. From swimming to visiting our past by walking through extensive and impressive museums, New Salem have 125 years of community to share with all. Sitting at the base of Salem Sue, the New Salem Golf Course was built in 1928 and is a 9 hole course. Trees, flowers, tee signs, birdhouses, and rock formations adorn the course with some benches and shelters as well. The New Salem Historical Society was organized in 1969 with the purpose of establishing a local museum to create interest in past history and preserve it for the future generations. Nine buildings: school, church, blacksmith shop, 1910 house, railroad depot, farm machinery, cars, tractors, and clothing store. New Salem has also a large assorment of parks to entertain the entire family. The City Park has two large shelters, two slides, swings and much much more. The North Park has 2 large shelter and a small one for your entertaining purposes. Great for reunions and family events this park also includes play equipment for children. New Salem even has over 1.5 miles of new bike trails ready for you to walk..run....or bike.