115-year-old building in Maxbass replicated to preserve history

Local News

Two brothers in Maxbass have replicated a 115-year-old building from the town’s square, and this piece of history is causing quite a stir in this rural North Dakota town.

“Decided if we were going to re-create it and re-build it for secondary offices for ourselves, this would be the year to do it,” said Steve Farden, manager of Farden Construction.

Steve and Todd Farden purchased the old bank and demolished it last year. 

Then, they rebuilt it. 

“The old building would’ve been built somewhere around 1905 and the old wood construction — time took its toll on it and it was falling down,” Steve said.

The old bank closed down during the Great Depression. But the building also served as the small town’s post office and drug store, which hadn’t been used since the 1970s.

Steve says Future Builders in Minot did all of the construction and they made sure everything looked like the original, including the blacked-out windows.

“The only thing we saved was the bank vault, so that’s what we built the building around was the bank vault,” Steve said.

Their 85-year-old father remembers going to the old one.

“This was the main one. People would meet down here to get their mail because they didn’t have mail service then,” Kenneth Farden said.

“Back in the day when these small railroad towns were built, during the winter, there was not much going on. Everybody just mingled around. There was no internet. This was the place you learned things. Come to the post office, mill around with your friends and that was it,” Steve said.

Since the unveiling of the building just last month, Steve says people from all over North Dakota have stopped by.

“Lot of my father’s friends that have moved away over time, they’ve all kept in touch with us about the building. They’re all wanting to kind of see it as it’s finished,” Steve said.

“It’s too bad there wasn’t more people alive to see it,” Kenneth said.

Steve hopes to complete the inside over the next few years. But for now, generations young and old can continue to visit a piece of history.

“We’re just trying to do something in our little town to keep it on the map,” Steve said.

Steve hopes this building will be around for the next 200 years. 

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