PARSHALL The Geving Ranch and its majestic house, along N.D. Highway 23 near Parshall, has long been a place of interest to many passersby.
This month, the Three Affiliated Tribes officially became the new owners of the ranch comprised of its house, barns, corrals and other outbuildings. The $1.85 million purchase includes 67 acres.
Herb Geving, who lived there and farmed the land for many years, died in April 2011. The Three Affiliated Tribes bought the ranch from the John Geving Trust. John Geving is Herb Geving's son.
The former Herb Geving home features a rock wall in the living room and a swing in front of it.
Earlier this month, Tex Hall, tribal chairman, Delvin Reeves, tribal fleet/fixed assets manager, Glenda Baker Embry, tribal public information officer, and Dennis Fox, tribal chief executive officer, visited the ranch to get better acquainted with it. There, they met with Billy Johnson, of Parshall, Geving's foreman who will remain in that same position.
Geving's house was featured in The Minot Daily News in January 1969, when Geving was building it. At the time the 35-year-old bachelor said he was creating "a man's house." Over the years, the house frequently was referred to as a mansion in news stories about Geving, who besides farming and ranching had a sanitation business and raised quarter horses.
Geving told The Minot Daily News in 1969 that he always wanted to be an architect. He said he had been designing his dream house for five or six years, somewhat as a hobby. In 1969, he figured it would take about 3 1/2 years to complete the house.
His plans in 1969 was for building a 4,200-square-foot house, according to The Minot Daily News. Today, the three-story house has 11,250-square-feet of living area and several bedrooms. An addition was made to the house in 2000.
Here's a few details of the home provided by Embry who toured the house and photographed it, and some details from the 1969 article published in The Minot Daily News.
The house has a sunken living room located below the kitchen-dining area. There's a 10-foot waterfall in the living room.
The sunken living room has a stream, with the water coming down the waterfall, going under a swing and a bridge, ending at a firepit that has a suspended large copper hood. Currently, the waterfall and stream are not operating.
The swing hangs from the ceiling of wooden beams. A Bismarck furniture dealer saw the swing, from India, at a furniture show in Chicago, according to The Minot Daily News.
The east wall of the living room is finished in rock from the North Dakota Badlands. A large rock arch leads down into the living room.
Geving told The Minot Daily News in 1969 that because of the long North Dakota winters he attempted to bring the outdoors inside. The house was built with many natural materials, including wood and rock.
The second floor of the house has designated store fronts, including "Livery," "Blacksmith" "Saloon," "Jail, "Sheriff," and "Hotel," with a small room behind each.
"It's a little town," Embry said, adding that there are murals on the walls inside each room, depicting what each room is about.
A winding stairway leads to the third-floor master bedroom. Off the master bedroom is a bathroom with a grotto or cave effect.
The main floor also has three more bedrooms, including bathrooms, an office, a recreation room and kitchen-dining room.
"Circle G," Geving's brand, is in various areas of the house, including over doorways and on railing, as well as on the exterior of the barn and other outbuildings. The brand also is burned above the doorways of the second floor "town."
Currently, Dennis Fox, tribal chief executive officer, and staff are working on a business plan for the ranch. The business plan is scheduled to be presented to the tribal business council in September.