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Pembina County

Pembina County is derived from the Chippewa Native American term for high bush cranberry, which grew in abundance along the Pembina River.


Surrounding County and Canada Courthouses: 

N – Manitoba, Canada

E – Kittson County, Minnesota

S – Walsh County

W – Cavalier County


Created:  January 9 1867                       Map of North Dakota highlighting Pembina County

County Seat:  

Pembina  1867 – 1911

Cavalier   1911 – present


County Courthouse – Cavalier


Location:  301 Dakota Street West / Court House Drive

Built:  1912 – 1913

Style:  Beaux Arts

Architect:  Buechner & Orth of St. Paul, Minnesota

Contractor:  Rowles & Bailey of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Description: The building faces north and is a three story buff colored brick and stone structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Cavalier. The building has a raised basement. The projecting north front has stone steps with a glass entrance rising to the third level.  There are two stone columns rising above the entrance to a stone parapet with two stone eagles and a statue of “Justice” holding the legal scale in her left hand and the sword of justice in her right hand. The building rests on a stone basement and the roof line is flat. The building has a functioning rotunda skylight and the attendant murals and stencil treatments. The vaulted skylight springs from interior pilasters at the level of the third story ceiling. Wainscoting, stairs, and staircase are marble, and all floors are terrazzo. The County District Court courtroom is located on the east side of the third story. The building houses the County District Court of the Northeast Judicial District. On the south side of the building is the old Sheriff Residence and the County Building.


Note:  The stained glass dome/skylight was designed by Bruce Richardson of Bathgate.


See:  The architect Buechner & Orth of St. Paul, Minnesota designed many courthouses.


See:  The contractor, Rowles & Bailey of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, constructed courthouses in Nebraska in Phelps County and Nemaha County; in Oklahoma in Grant County and Jackson County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Pembina County Courthouse


See:  The Norrheast Judicial District includes Benson CountyBottineau County, Cavalier County, McHenry County, Pierce County, Ramsey County, Renville County, Rolette CountyTowner County and Walsh County


History:  The county was created in 1867 and Pembina was designated as the county seat. The first courthouse was a two story building built in Pembina in 1881. The county seat was moved to Cavalier in 1911. The second and present courthouse was constructed in Cavalier in 1912 to 1913 at a cost of $110,000.


Note:  The lowest point in North Dakota is the Red River of the North at 750 feet ( 229 meters ) which is located in the county.



County Courthouse – Cavalier

























County District Court courtroom















Sheriff Residence – Cavalier



County Building – Cavalier

Photos taken 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2018