« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Associated Press, Published November 24 2013

Century-old North Dakota store destroyed by fire

WILLISTON, N.D. — Some residents of northwest North Dakota are lamenting the loss of a more than century-old general store that was destroyed by fire.

The Williston Herald reports that the 1804 County Store in the small township of Trenton caught fire and burned to the ground last week. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

“My guess is something was left on in the kitchen,” said Trenton resident Amanda Henderson.

Residents called the store the hub of the community. The Country Store was the only place nearby that they could buy most things without driving a half hour to Williston.

“Our parents have memories of the store,” said Trenton Public School employee Penny Gohl. “We have memories, and even some of our kids have memories of going there.”

“It was the center of everything,” said Trenton resident Gordon Falcon.

The store was built in 1905 by Sam Wilkinson. In its early days, the 1804 Country Store was a log cabin structure. It was upgraded in 1939

Wilkinson's son Bob was the owner of the store “until about the ‘70s,” according to Trenton resident Jim Turcotte.

Jeanette Turcotte, another Trenton resident, remembers the store fondly as a place of her childhood.

“I would sit on the porch while my dad played cards,” she said.

Before electricity came to Trenton in 1952, Turcotte remembers the Country Store selling kerosene lamps. For much of its existence, the Country Store served as the post office for residents of Trenton.

“It was a good store for Trenton back in the day,” Turcotte said. “It was one of the last of its kind in the country. You could buy anything there.”