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Knowing everyone - and loving it

Reynolds is a small, unique community in North Dakota. With a population of about 400, the people of Reynolds know one another well. The town has a Lutheran church and a Catholic church. A Catholic-based organization, the Knights of Columbus, hos...

Reynolds is a small, unique community in North Dakota. With a population of about 400, the people of Reynolds know one another well. The town has a Lutheran church and a Catholic church. A Catholic-based organization, the Knights of Columbus, hosts events for the community. There are also a post office, a fire hall, an auto-repair shop and a grocery store. The grocery store, Weber's, is also a butcher shop. Another popular place is the Beehive Café and Lounge.

Reynolds is about 20 miles from Grand Forks. This allows the people in the community to take advantage of what Grand Forks has to offer and still enjoy their small community. Some people in Reynolds commute to Grand Forks to work. Residents can go to Grand Forks for shopping, restaurants, movies or anything else. They have the opportunity to have the small town feel and the larger town advantages.

Reynolds is split between two counties: Traill County and Grand Forks County. Because of this, the town's slogan is "United but Divided by Two Counties." The town has divided property tax for this reason.

Many people in Reynolds farm. The top crop right now is corn. Local farmers also grow beets and sunflowers and some own cattle. A community such as Reynolds allows farmers to have events to bring them closer to the people in town. If farmers need help, they can post fliers in town advertising for workers. People looking for work also post fliers that farmers can utilize. If farmers need specialized help in an area such as construction, they can take advantage of being close to Grand Forks.

Alan and Rita Butler own the Beehive. It's located on the main street that goes through Reynolds. The café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Alan and Rita have themed nights for some of their dinners: for example, on Mondays, they have Mexican food night.


The lounge is a place for people to meet up and play games and relax. It often has entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. The entertainment is anything from karaoke to a comedian. Inside the lounge, there are darts and a pool table available. Alan and Rita also put on a poker club for part of the year. The lounge also celebrates holidays with theme parties. During Halloween, there was a Halloween party with a reward for best costume.

The Beehive owners also put on events for the whole community. This is the second year they had a Halloween haunted house. They held events for the community's 125 + 2 (127 anniversary) celebration. The community had a street dance with a band and a dinner in the park. The people in Reynolds really love their community and celebrations like these show the pride they have for the city.

Every year, Reynolds hosts the Fall Supper. The Knights of Columbus puts it on as a fundraiser so that the organization can sponsor events for the community. People from all over the area come for the supper. It also brings the people in the community together. The supper has a bake sale and raffles for more fundraising.

The K of C also puts on an event for the men of Reynolds. Called the Smoker, it brings men of the community together to play poker and smoke cigars. The K of C puts on other events for the community, as well.

The local grocery store owners in Reynolds have butchering services for the community. Wayne Paul has been butchering since high school, so he was a pro at it and was able to teach his wife Becky.

Wayne and Becky bought the store and moved from Grand Forks to Reynolds in November 1994. The community has a welcoming atmosphere that helped the family feel at home.

Becky said, "The transition wasn't too difficult. We lived in Manville before, and my kids were young when we moved."

Reflecting on the seasonal demand for their skills, Becky added, "We will be busy with deer season from the end of September to May."


After deer season, the Pauls butcher cattle for farmers. Weber's gets customers from all over for their butchering services.

The store serves more as a convenience market than a full-service grocery, Becky said. They have the basic things you need, and they also rent out movies.

Weber's hires students from the community to provide them with jobs. The students help with packing the meat and help customers in the store. Becky and Wayne's business is very successful because of their good service.

The kids of the town go to Central Valley School. The school is located in between Reynolds and Buxton and is about 15 miles from the former. The school has students from other surrounding communities, such as Buxton and Cummings. It has successful sports programs, which the communities support. Jeremy Brandt, the principal, says that a strong school gives communities a sense of identity. The school has strong attendance numbers and a strong staff that has been teaching there for a while.

Central Valley is a community within itself. When a program in the school needs funding, its members will raise money for it. Jeremy said, "The music class is fundraising right now to take a trip to New York." The communities around the school support the fundraising.

Shannon Hunt is one teacher who grew up in Reynolds. Shannon said, "I didn't want to come back at first, but after graduation I did." She returned to Reynolds to be close to her family and have her kids grow up in a small community.

All the people of Reynolds talk about how close their community is. They have events in the summer, such as a barbecue every week so that people can go and visit with one another. Having that sense of community is important to Reynolds' residents.

Brittany Rose is a senior in Central Valley School. She wants to keep the small town feel by attending college in Mayville. Brittany said she enjoys going to a smaller school because she is able to get to know everyone. She also said that everyone knows everyone in Reynolds: if someone new comes to town, people notice. Brittany works at Weber's and sometimes goes to Grand Forks during the weekends.


Reynolds has an essence of closeness. All the residents treasure how well they know one another. Rita said, "I like being able to know everyone in town and I like the small town feel." They love being able to talk to everyone about the latest news. They can gossip to one another and it's OK because everybody already knows anyway.

The essence of Reynolds is relationships. Residents love their community and the people in it. Reynolds may have its problems, but what community doesn't? Its people love living there and several want to live there forever. Some families have been there for many generations. They want to keep passing their possessions down for their next generation of family. Relationships are what are important to Reynolds.

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