Verendrye, North Dakota

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Abandoned Falsen School

Verendrye is an unincorporated community in McHenry County, North Dakota, United States, located about 8 miles northwest of Karlsruhe and 13 miles northeast of Velva within Falsen Township.[1] Although classified by the USGS as a populated place, it is considered a ghost town.


David Thompson Memorial

The community was first known as Falsen, founded in 1912 by Norwegian settlers, who named it for Norwegian statesman Christian Magnus Falsen.[2] Falsen was also the name of the station on the Great Northern Railway.[3] The post office was established with the name Falsen in 1913, but the name was changed in 1925 to honor Pierre de la Verendrye, an early French-Canadian explorer who was the earliest known European to tour the North Dakota prairies.[4][5] The population of Falsen in 1920 was 75.[2] The population of Verendrye in 1938 was 100.[6] The post office closed in 1965, with mail being redirected to Bergen.[7] The last original resident moved away in December 1970 and the townsite sat vacant until it was purchased in 1990 and developed by the current owners into a farmstead, leaving the remains of the school building as the last true remnant of the town.[citation needed]

Along with Norwegians, Falsen was originally settled by German-Russians from the villages of Kandel and Selz in the Ukraine.[8][better source needed]

A monument to the later North West Company fur trader and explorer, David Thompson, erected by the Great Northern Railway in 1925,[5] remains on a hilltop overlooking the former townsite.

The Verendrye Electric Cooperative was established here in 1939 but relocated to Velva in 1941.[9]


Verendrye is located in the Mouse River Valley along the route of the BNSF Railway.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Verendrye". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. February 13, 1980. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Writers Project Lists County Towns". Mouse River Farmers Press. September 5, 1940. Retrieved April 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ Wick, Douglas A. "Falsen (Mchenry County)". North Dakota Place Names. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ Williams, Mary Ann Barnes (1961). Origins of North Dakota Place Names. The Bismarck Tribune. p. 158. OCLC 431626. 
  5. ^ a b "The Upper Missouri Historical Expedition" (PDF). Minnesota History. Minnesota Historical Society. 6 (3): 213, 305. 1925. 
  6. ^ Writers' Program of the Works Progress Administration (1938). North Dakota: A Guide to the Northern Prairie State. American Guide Series. p. 274. 
  7. ^ Wick, Douglas A. "Verendrye (Mchenry County)". North Dakota Place Names. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ Sallet, Richard (1974). Russian-German Settlements in the United States. Fargo, North Dakota: North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies. 
  9. ^ "About Us". Verendrye Electric Cooperative. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 

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Coordinates: 48°07′16″N 100°44′21″W / 48.12111°N 100.73917°W / 48.12111; -100.73917