Tracker Pixel for Entry

The Hurd Round House: Nestled in a sea of prairie

Culture | December 23rd, 2019

Photo by Sabrina Hornung

photo by Sabrina Hornung

The Hurd Roundhouse is a unique site situated in the rolling hills of Wells county, the structure, as well as the nearby town of Hurdsfield, bears the name of Warren Hurd who worked as a land agent for the Northern Pacific Railroad. The Hurd house’s initial purpose was to serve as a land office and space to entertain potential land buyers. The house is two stories high, has a wrap-around porch and a round roof that also supported an observation deck. To this day visitors still experience a sense of awe at the wide expanse of open prairie and native prairie grasses. The Hurd house even had the rare luxury of running water at that time courtesy of the nearby artesian well. The well-house is onsite and is constructed of native fieldstone and that too has experienced its own restoration just a few years ago.

Lloyd Weckerly grew up a matter of miles from the Hurd Roundhouse. In fact, this lifelong cattleman’s family was an integral part of the preservation of the site which was then placed on the National Historic Register in 1977.

“My grandfather built the farm to the south of the Hurd house by three miles. We used to climb up on the thing and play on it when we were 10-12 years old. Then about in the 50s my father he kinda got organized and decided it should be restored for the historical society and Wells County. So he and some other senior citizens got ahold of it and they wound up and got busy and did a lot of work on it... painted it, fixed it up quite a bit and got some land acquisitions taken care of so it was an entity by itself.” Weckerly said.

“The Northern Pacific Railroad got every other section along the 50 miles along the mainline on the railroad. Well, when you went to Steele that was where the mainline was. So there was all this land there to sell and the Hurd family came out there and kind of got the drift that they were selling the land and speculating the land and they were selling it to homesteaders. The railroad came to Bowdon, and there were a couple of families in Bowdon who had livery stables and they used to haul pioneer people out there and house them in that roundhouse kind of as a showplace and they’d make sales to these people for land.” Weckerly said.

“The land that I have down there or my grandfather had, that originally was Northern Pacific, anyway that was the beginning of that. Now it’s up to some of us younger people--and I’m not young anymore I’m getting quite a way down the rope. There aren’t too many younger people who are really too concerned about our roots, understand the struggle that our elders put in to even make it work in that country, digging wells and fires and all of that other stuff that went on in that era.”

Prior to the restoration, Weckerly remembers the previous owners of the structure shoveling feed into it and using it as a granary. It wasn’t uncommon to see livestock in and around the windowless structure.

When his father, who was also a local history enthusiast, was involved in the restoration, Weckerly now in his late-80s remembers saddling up his horse and riding to the site from their ranch and having cookouts, his brother still helps out at the site. “I’m the third generation and my son is fourth-generation, we intend to keep the historical value of that area going,” he said.

Recently in:

Growing Together Opens New GardenBy Annie Prafckehttps://www.facebook.com/annie.prafcke20 May 2021On April 15th, Growing Together held a groundbreaking for the opening of its newest gardens at Gethsemane Cathedral. The space, which…

By Michael M. Millermichael.miller@ndsu.edu17 June 2021The Lehr Tabernacle near Lehr, N.D., celebrates its 100th Centennial with events on June 18-20, 2021. The Tabernacle, also known as Prairie Bible Camp, was featured in an…

2021 Summer Calendar Toby KeithMay 21, 7pmBismarck Event Center, 315 SOUTH 5TH STREET BISMARCKTickets $25-$175, pre-party starts at 5pm.Heart and Soul May 22, 9pmThe Aquarium, 226 N BroadwayR & B, Smooth Jazz, Funk, Neo-Soul and…

Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com15 July 2021Our opinion: Let’s work together instead of against each other.Think of where we are now in comparison to last year. Think of what we’ve learned since and how this is affecting our…

Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com29 July 2021This Is About the Religious-Rich-QAnon-White Supremacist-Trumplican CultThere are hundreds of thousands of cults in countries and societies around the world that have played or are playing…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com15 July 2021With Grand Forks being a hop skip and a cruise away from Fargo-Moorhead, our neighbors to the north have some great dining options. Whether you’re planning on spending a weekend or…

Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com15 July 2021“We have a guy that's been involved with the show for many years as a landlord and knew what it was like in the heydays. So he knows where he wants to take it.” says WE Fest General…

Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.com29 July 2021Conor Holt works in television post-production in Los Angeles and has scoured almost every video store and thrift shop in Los Angeles County on an endless quest for VHS cassettes. This…

Alicia Underlee Nelson  alicia@hpr1.comDowntown scored a new mural from The Greetings Tour, a project that aims to create a mural in the style of…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Theresa L. Goodrichsubmit@hpr1.comIt was day ten of our epic southwest road trip and we’d made it to Arizona. After camping in Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and New Mexico, we were exhausted, but fortunately our night in…

by Annie Prafckesubmit@hpr1.com17 June 2021On June 19th, from 12pm to 7pm, nonprofit Faith4Hope Scholarship Fund is hosting their first ever Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. It is free and open to the…