On the North Dakota and Montana border resides the charming city of Beach. Though the city's a far cry from the seashore as its name might suggest, there are many alluring aspects Beach provides both residents and visitors.
In the 1873 Stanley railroad survey expedition to chart the area for railroad tracks lead to Captain Warren Beachís discovery of this sparse area. Named after the U.S. Captain and settled amidst the quiet county of Golden Valley, Beach resides close to the Montana border. In fact, before the 1901 government land survey, no one quite knew whether or not the area actually resided in North Dakota or Montana.
The greatest period of growth Beach has ever experienced remains the period from 1905 to 1915, when it transformed from a village to a city. A Grocery store, church, general store, post office and hotel bloomed with the influx of workers, and even more businesses sprung up to cater to the rising population.
Technology such as electricity and a well system were implemented as well as schools and churches. From 1925 until present however, the cityís growth slowed to a steadier pace and little has changed in nearly a century.
Points of Interest
Pottery, often a necessity in less advanced times, has mutated from a need to sought-after collectorís pieces. Beach offers visitors and locals alike a resource for these long-established pieces of art. Prairie Fire Pottery maintains this tradition and includes new twists to clay. The business put a new spin on the traditional tile allowing Wildlife from the area get a hand or paw in helping create this one of a kind artwork. The beach centered location also offers their services internationally, helping to stock many zoos and parks.
With many activities for every season, itís no wonder those who come to Beach usually stay in this quaint city. Memorial park offers picnic areas, horseshoe courts and a pool. The municipal swimming pool in Memorial Park also provides a slide and baby swimming pool. Lessons and lifeguard certification are available. The softball development stays busy throughout the summer as well, hosting the annual Stals & Gals tournament on Memorial Day weekend. Odland Dam and Camel Hump Lake provide the residents with arenas for fishing, boating and other water sports. As the leaves and temperature fall, sport hunters come to catch turkeys, antelope and deer. Winter brings abut ice fishing, snowmobiling and skating.
Sentinel Butte: Outside of Beach lies the small town of Sentinel Butte, a relatively unknown area that recently received nation-wide recognition for exemplifying an honor system no longer possible in most areas. Alongside old Highway 10, Olsonís Service Station honorís the residents of the town with a key to their business. The couple wasnít able to stay open all the time to suit the needs of the town people, so they entrusted the residentís with a key to the gas station. With a population of about 50 people, the cost of the key was outweighed by the benefit and compliment to locals. After pumping gas, individuals would simply record the amount they took and leave it in the store; the Olsenís would bill them later. Their idea of self service may have many people who are used to major cities perplexed, but they simply say ďThatís how things are here.Ē With few old-time gas stations open and fewer with such a sense of faith in people, Olsonís provides proof that loyalty and confidence in the goodness of people still remains.
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- Prairie Fire Pottery
- Memorial Park
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park
- The Badlands
- Odland Dam
- Camel Hump Lake
- Sentinel Butte