Venturia is located in a very sparsely populated region of the state, near the South Dakota border and just east of the Missouri river, near Ashley.
When we arrived in Venturia, we were excited by the photo opportunities but we needed a break from the rain. It took us a few minutes of sitting in the car before we realized the neon sign on the bar behind us was lit — OPEN.
Inside, we met Don, the owner of the “Duck Inn,” a bar that could also double as his living room. We had a beer and he showed us his 104-year-old pool table. He was born and raised in Venturia, then left to see the world before returning to become the town barkeep. Although we were the only people in the place, he said he was expecting a good crowd of people from surrounding towns since it was Memorial weekend. Rat bought a t-shirt that said “Duck Inn and Waddle Out.” According to Don, there are 21 people in Venturia.
According to “North Dakota: Every Town on the Map and More,” by Vernell and Louise Johnson, a disagreement over what to name the town was resolved when a pioneer builder proposed the name “Ventura,” a moniker he saw on the side of a railroad box car. The villagers added the ‘i’ and the town became Venturia.
That’s the Duck Inn, center in the photo above.
The now abandoned Venturia Lumber Company.
Yes, I’d like a one-way ticket to anywhere, please.
Photos by Troy and Rat, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC