History House provides inspiration for future caregivers

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Stepping into the Arthur History House in Arthur, North Dakota, is like stepping back in time. Rented for $20 a month in 1923, the small, six-room building with no running water or electricity is where it all began for the Good Samaritan Society.

“Officially established in 1923 but the first resident arrived in 1922,” says Mary Vangerud Leraas, Good Samaritan Society – Arthur administrator.

No longer on Main Street, the Society’s first home sits behind the current independent and assisted living location next to a prayer garden. It was acquired by the organization in 2008, restored and furnished with original documents as well as furniture you would’ve seen in the 1920s.

Mary, often a tour guide for visiting groups, grew up in nearby Valley City. She comes from a family of health care providers and worked in a Lutheran Homes and Hospitals care center as a teenager.

She says the founding of the Society is a source of pride for locals in the area, including her.

“This dream came alive to bring this home here to our second location and create that living piece of history. So we can remember, gather stories and continue our tradition of caring for others,” says Mary, who’s been with the Society seven years.