Did you mail your letters here?
It makes a good Saturday Snapshot
Hundreds of people got their mail from the little town of Grassy Butte. That Grassy Butte Post Office is now 107 years old. A railroad brought mail to Killdeer, about 30 miles away. From there, a postal carrier brought it to Grassy Butte. The carrier made a name for himself. A 1917 story in the Dickinson Press said, “When it comes to getting over the road in cold weather, Joe Remsing, the mailman is always there with his Ford, and he makes good time, every day.”
It was also a stop on the Killdeer to Mary stage line. (Mary was a little McKenzie County town northwest of Grassy Butte.)
Grassy Butte got its name from the trail driver and cowboys who used the hill to the north of town as a landmark. Compared to other hills, it stood out; most hills in the region are clay or coal streaked hills. This one was entirely covered with grass — thus the name “Grassy Butte.”
The Post Office
It is built with native material (mud, cottonwood, sod). It is an example of the resourceful spirit of turn-of-the-century pioneers who lived here.
When it’s open, you can get in for free. It houses antiques and relics from the 1800s and 1900s. The post office museum and the nearby park help to make Grassy Butte a nice rest stop between Belfield and Watford City.
There’s not much left of Grassy Butte. Population is less than 100. It used to have a newspaper, a bank, a general store, lumber yard, and amusement hall. Newspapers predicted in the early 1900s that Grassy Butte was to become one of the most thriving cities in McKenzie County.
It’s trimmed down since the heyday 100 years ago. So, just the essentials are here: a community center, a convenience store, a bar and a couple of oil field businesses. An old church building has been remodeled as a home. Highway 85 buzzes past the east side of town. The main route used to go down the main street, now it’s east of town.
The social community is tight. That’s why you’ll see many families who turn out for family activities at the community center or at the park. The annual Easter Egg hunt is a high-energy moment of laughter and fun.
Use Grassy Butte as a stopping off point before heading west on County Road 50. Follow the signs to get to Beicegel Campground, or to the Maah Daah Hey trail. When your exploration is over, ice cream is at the general store, and a cold beverage waits for you at the Grassy Butte Bar.
This week, look for a couple of suggestions for outdoor explorations — especially the one on Summit Trail and the crocuses.
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