Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Dedication of Verendrye Bridge


There was dancing on the bridge, as well as speeches, band concerts, rodeos, and river sports around Sanish today in 1927. Today was the first of a two day celebration following the dedication of the Verendrye Bridge. The bridge was built near Sanish, and became one of only three bridges spanning the Missouri River. The other two were located near Williston and Bismarck.

The celebration did not only open up one more crossing across the Missouri, but it also opened up more lines of communication and access to the far-western corner of North Dakota. Farmers previously had to rely on ferries to carry their livestock and crops to the Soo Line, which ended in Sanish. With the bridge now in place, and with the later construction of Highway 23, shipping products across the Missouri became much easier and more efficient.

The bridge became an important asset to the town. The bridge and the railroad put Sanish in place to become one of the largest livestock shipping centers in the northwest. Every year, about 350 cars of livestock and 515 cars of grain were shipped from Sanish. It remained a bustling center of commerce until it was inundated by the Garrison Dam in the 1950s.

By Tessa Sandstrom

Source: Mountrail County Historical Society. Tales of the Might Mountrail, vol. 1. Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Company, 1979.