Celebrating 130 years; Adrian, N.D., to hold 130th celebration this weekend
It is a big community celebration for an unincorporated township but the residents carry forward the experience for the sake of the new generation. Just 35 miles southeast of Jamestown, the small community of Adrian can boast a grain elevator, a ...
It is a big community celebration for an unincorporated township but the residents carry forward the experience for the sake of the new generation.
Just 35 miles southeast of Jamestown, the small community of Adrian can boast a grain elevator, a church and municipal restaurant and bar. With around 50 households in the area, most are taking part in celebrating Adrian’s 130th anniversary this weekend, according to the Adrian Betterment Club.
Starting with a Wild West Night on Friday, the event carries on Saturday with a full day of events from 9 a.m. until the evening dance and fireworks.
“It’s all about community and tradition,” said Patricia Rode, ABC president.
The ABC was formed by residents to organize events around the American bicentennial in 1976. Rode was one of those members and recalled that the group continued to organize an annual community picnic.
“As we came closer to the 100th anniversary we discussed it and decided on another big celebration,” Rode said. “Then we did it again at the 125th.”
The events were popular and the ABC followed through with anniversary events every five years. It was a way for people to get to know their neighbors, and the community liked it when families cleaned and spruced up yards for the event, Rode added.
The Adrian celebrations created memories of parades, tractor pulls and a lot of fun and excitement, according to Rode. The children who took part in events decades ago now want their kids to have those same memories that instill a sense of belonging.
“The younger community members want their kids to have some fun and to share the same experience,” Rode said.
One volunteer, Jamie Miller, said her husband, Michael, was born and raised in Adrian. Michael was just 10 years old when he drove a tractor in the 100th anniversary parade in 1980. Now his own 9-year-old son will drive that same tractor in the 135th parade.
The Millers are cattle ranchers with 600 head and operate a feedlot. They don’t have a lot of spare time, but they volunteer when it’s about “good people, good fun and because we couldn’t ask for a better community,” Jamie said.
“It’s just a lot of fun to get everybody together and have a good time,” she added. “It’s not just the neighbors, but getting everybody together from the communities around us and having fun and celebrating.”
Adrian started out as a railroad and farming community, Rode said. The earliest known records note the population was around 17 in 1905 and reached around 135 at its peak just prior to the Great Depression in the 1930s, she said.
At one time there were three general stores, a blacksmith shop and a stockyard. Adrian never incorporated and the residents are actually wardens of the township, she said.
“There has never been a government,” Rode said.
None of the current residents can claim their ancestors as original residents, but some can date them back to around 1909, including Rode. She said this makes it all the more incredible that residents celebrate the anniversary without the benefit of historic resources that other communities take for granted.
Sun reporter Tom LaVenture can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com
Events planned for anniversary celebration
Adrian’s 130th anniversary celebration starts Friday with Wild West Night at 5 p.m. Dress as lawmen, dancers, cowboys and cowgirls, ranch hands, gunslingers, country doctors, miners and homesteaders with prizes for best getups. Buffalo burgers and beans will be served from 6 to 9 p.m.
Saturday events begin at 9 a.m., with breakfast at the dam, kid’s fishing derby, a noon main street parade, classic tractor tour, picnic lunch with burgers, brats and walking tacos, old-fashioned games and dunk tanks, ice cream social, sanctioned tractor pull with 21 classes and classic tractor run. Gun auction and raffle of Henry Colt 45 commemorative pistol, Barbecue pork supper, fireworks at dusk, and dance with music from Jacked Up. For information, call (701) 778-7178.