Watch Verendrye Age Forty Years

Yesterday, Steve Lee sent us some photos of flooding in Verendrye, North Dakota. They were taken by his father during the Mouse (Souris) River floods “sometime in the mid to late forties.”

My father, Howard Lee, took these photos.  He grew up on his grandfather’s (Herbrand Lee) farm, 2 or 3 miles northeast of Verendrye. Herbrand Lee homesteaded in the area.

Today, Steve sent us another photo with the following note:

I just noticed, on Google Earth, that this structure is no longer standing. With that in mind, here is a photo of that storefront from about 1983. It was taken with a 4×5 Crown Graphic. I was trying to emulate the same angle as my father’s photo.

With that we have two images of the same place, separated by a generation, captured by a father and son with deep family roots in North Dakota.  We put the two photos together in an animation.  Watch as the General Store in Verendrye ages nearly 40 years:

Verendrye, North Dakota

Photos by Howard and Steven Lee
Animation by Troy Larson
Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media

9 thoughts on “Watch Verendrye Age Forty Years

  1. Love the animations as much as I love this site. I wish all these towns could be preserved with new families to live good lives.
    But as the land is bought either privately or the state/county gets it unfortunately because of today’s liability the unstable buildings would need to come down.
    Keep the pictures coming!


    1. WOW!!! What a difference time makes! Makes me wonder what all these people did after these photos were taken. I wonder if there is anyone alive today who remembers when this big ol’ “DUCK” came rolling in to town. I absolutely LOVE this web site and spend quite a bit of time here. It is so very interesting to read about the history and how these communities slowly died away. The site, photos and history of Omemee made me so very depressed…more than any other community that I have read about here. The photos of a once vibrant and sizeable town, the several houses and business enterprises that existed and to see all the people on the train depot platform……to what is left today. In all reality, this must have declined very rapidly since we are not talking anywhere near 100 years time span. Depressing…but very interesting and a big “Thank You” to all of you to keep these memories alive.

      Lynn Mickelson


  2. Love this pic – thanks for posting this. I lived in Towner from 1966 through 1968, aged 4-7 (trust me, the math works), and I remember my first favorite home town so well. BTW – we called it the Mouse. Only Canadians and TV anchors from Minot called it the “Souris”.



  3. There is nothing I enjoy more on my drives around the state than seeing old farm houses or abandoned towns and imagining who lived there and what they were like when they were “alive.” I appreciate so much the folks who take these old beauties and restore them and give them another chance at life. The next best thing is to photograph them so they are never forgotten…thank you for your part in that.


  4. I attended the Falsen Public School in Verendrye through 5th grade. Florence Lokken was my 1-4 grade teacher and Loretta Larson was my 5th grade teacher. Roy and Millie Howe ran the Corner Store, which had groceries and a gas pump out front. Roy also had “Roy’s Bar” next to the grocery store. H. T. Blackstead owned the Minneapolis Moline farm equipment dealership, next to the bar. Next, to the north was the dance hall and then the hotel, ran by Albert and Susie Lee. Don Smith was the depot manager, where we hauled our cream cans, for shipment to Minot via the “dinky”, (train)! Blackstead also ran the grain elevator. Other residents were Frank “Pop” Shaw, Harry Wolhowe, Gust and Helen Wolhowe and Mulma. Charles Parks and his wife ran the Post Office and rural delivery. I drank my first beer (pony bottle of Miller) in Roy’s bar when I was 6 years old. Roy gave it to me for helping him deliver a drink to Leonard Keller. My father was with me, to make sure I drove home okay. Good memories!


  5. I had heard about Verendrye being a ghost town when I was a kid. In my early twenties I was interested in photography. I went to Verendrye and took pictures of inside the store. When I had them developed I showed them to my land lady. I was renting and living in her basement. To my surprise she told me that was her store. Millie Howe then told me some stories about the bar and store and her and Roy. One story that I remembered her telling was how the hobos would get of the train when it stopped and they would come into the store looking for food. She talk a lot about Roy and there time together. Thank you Doc for telling us about Verendrye.


  6. Has anyone ever heard of the Zaback family in Verendrye? My grandfather Leo Zaback and wife Mary and 6 kids lived there and I was told at one time ran the store and post office..


  7. Looking for the Johannes Lyng log house built in 1886 along the Mouse River near Verendrye. Also any information about Trinity Cemetery where he and his wife, Jonetta, are buried.


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