The Way It Was Book Series

Everett C. Albers and D. Jerome Tweton, Editors

The Grass Roots Press, Fessenden, North Dakota, softcover


Here are the stories of the earliest pioneers of North Dakota told by those who experienced the decades of the 1870s, 1880s, and 1890s. Recorded in the middle 1930s by interviewers working in a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, those who settled the land tell "the way it was" for them when they came to the frontiers. Gleaned from over 5,000 stories which are archivally stored at the State Historical of North Dakota. Each book is illustrated with photographs from North Dakota collections.

Books available:

Book One: The Sod-Busters (1996, 98 pages, softcover)

The Sod-Busters
collects seventeen of the personal histories of those who came to that endless sea of grass that challenged their strength and spirit as they broke the sod and farmed the land.

Book Three: The Cowboy & Ranchers (1999, 91 pages, softcover)

The Cowboys & Ranchers provides memories of the frontier experience, collects the personal histories of those who came to Dakota when the buffalo still roamed, brown bear walked among vast herds of cattle, and unfenced ranches stretched over as much as 800 square miles.

Book Five: Native People (2002, 85 pages, softcover)

Native People collects nineteen of the personal histories of those whose people had hunted and farmed in North Dakota for hundreds of years.

Book Six: The Townspeople (2004, 89 pages, softcover)

The Townspeople collection sixteen of the personal histories of those who came and lived in the first towns, most often created by the railroad companies as a center of commerce for those who came to break the sod and farm the land, that endless sea of grass that challenged their strength and spirit.



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The Way It Was Series of Books

$13 each or $60 for the five-book series plus Shipping & Handling


Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller