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North Pole Stock Ranch

This tour traverses an uneven plateau, broken here and there by small hills. The greater part of this area was once planted to wheat, with large, well-cultivated farms and usually weatherworn and dilapidated houses and barns. Gradually the terrain becomes more rugged, and the hills, partially covered by scraggly bull pine, crowd closer to the highway. Alarmed by passing automobiles, plump ground squirrels, numerous in this section, tumble into their burrows with shrill cries. The North Pole Stock Ranch barn was built c. 1935 by Frank Selde and his family, along with hired hand Harry Schenider. The ranch was originally established in 1907 as the “North Pole Stock Ranch” by Arthur Brand Mecklenberg, who homesteaded the land on September 10, 1907. According to the 1916–17 Farmer Directory, Mecklenburg owned 1,600 acres, Percheron horses, Shorthorn cattle, and single-comb White Leghorn chickens. He sold horses to the Army, and the ranch was the main route to Fort Spokane.