Wahpeton Residents Celebrate City’s 150th Anniversary

The city is planning four celebrations to take place over the course of the year

WAHPETON, N.D. —┬áPeople in Wahpeton are coming together throughout the weekend to celebrate the city’s one hundred fiftieth anniversary.

For some people, their connection to the city spans decades.

Back when Ed Scott was working for the Penny Company in the 1950’s, the last place he’d expect to live was Wahpeton, North Dakota.

“I said this is one town I would never accept a transfer to,” Scott said.

In 1964, Ed was reassigned from Ely, Minnesota to Wahpeton. 55 years later, Ed and his wife Pat are still living in the city, and continue to embrace a place they fell in love with.

“With our kids when we were raising them, they would just go out the door and go down to the pool or whatever. We didn’t have to worry about them. It was a comfortable place to live,” Pat said.

Ed and Pat are among those happy to see Wahpeton celebrate its one hundred fiftieth anniversary.

Jane Priebe has lived in Wahpeton with her family for more than 40 years, and says people should appreciate how much the city has changed.

“We really want them to get out and get to know their community a little bit better, and they can do that by coming to the Red Door Art Gallery, learning more about their community, attending some of these really fun things and getting together with their friends. That’s really what it’s all about,” said Priebe, who is the Chair of Wahpeton 150.

The city has seen many changes since it was founded, ranging from businesses coming and going to the city’s name itself.

Wahpeton was originally named Richville after its founder Morgan Rich in 1869, then was renamed Chahinkapa before it adopted the Dakota Indian word for “leaf dwellers” as the city’s name in 1875.

The sesquicentennial organizers say putting the city’s history on display will help show people what Wahpeton is all about.

“We call it ‘Community for a Lifetime’ so this is some place that you could come and grow, you can grow up here, your kids can grow up here, and you’ll live your whole life. We’re close to the big cities, but also we have a lot here that we want to keep people in town and hopefully they’ll see that,” said Chris DeVries, the Community Development Director for the City of Wahpeton.

Ed and Pat say regardless of how the city continues to change, one thing will continue to make Wahpeton a special place.

“Businesses come and they go, but the people are still here, and the people are good,” Ed said.

Saturday continues the first of four celebrations throughout the year.

There will be a waffle brunch, Groundhog Day celebration, and a fireworks show to cap it all off.

For more information on Wahpeton’s sesquicentennial celebration, click here.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News