Former Reeder gas station begins to collapse

Current – The former gas station Reeder started to collapse from the wind on Dec. 19. (Photo by Frank Turner_

After 101 years of standing strong, the Reeder Cenex building is starting to collapse. A torrent of North Dakota wind blew a hole in the building’s roof and tore down a significant part of the wall. The max wind speed for Dec. 19 was reportedly over 35 miles per hour. According to Larry Jackson, the roof was starting to lose its structural integrity.

Frank Turner

“I believe that building was built back in 1917. An old timer told me that, and I recon it’s true because there is a picture of the building from 1919 taken from the old grain elevator,” said Jackson

The businesses that occupied the Reeder Cenex building have changed throughout the years. Back in the early 1900’s, the building was used to sell ford cars.

Then, years later around 1940, the building was acquired by the farmer’s union and functioned as a gas station until 2015. Larry Jackson was the manager of the Cenex gas station for the last 7 years the building was open for business.

Old – A picture of Reeder taken from the old grain elevator in 1919

“Eventually the Cenex shut down,” said Jackson, “There just wasn’t enough business to keep it going.”

Since the closing of the Cenex, the building has sat dormant for over 3 years.

The records at the Adams County Courthouse did not state the names of the current owners. According to Jackson, the owners live out of state in Arizona. 

“It was a nice building. I was surprised when I saw it start to go,” said Jackson.

Andy Roehl, a local Sheriff’s Deputy, was also in Reeder when the building’s roof blew open.

“We were in Reeder for the drug bust,” Roehl recollected, “It was very windy that day.”

In the middle of the Reeder drug bust, the Sheriff’s department received a call that the old Cenex building was collapsing.

“When we arrived, brick was in the street and we were asked to block traffic. When it rains it pours,” Roehl said with a laugh, “While the task force was metaphorically blowing the lid off the drug bust, a literal lid blew off a building downtown!”

Jackson and Todd Donner, the mayor of Reeder, guessed that the building will likely have to be torn down, although the building’s fate has still yet to be decided.

“We will likely figure something out at next week’s city council meeting,” said Jackson.

For a building that is almost as old as Adams County, it survived in North Dakota for a long time. However, not even brick and mortar can stop the impressive North Dakota winds.