Arvada Center is a (fictional) small farming community in Dohrman County. One of its nearest neighboring towns is Willow Lake. It is southeast of Camden, the nearest big city although Geneva is smaller, closer and more convenient for some things. One estimate places Arvada Center about 150 miles south of Spearfish Lake.Roc1-2
Both Arvada Center and Willow Lake have a Methodist congregation, but they share a common minister and a joint youth group. The churches resist a complete merger. Bob Watson and Lori Mattson were married at the Arvada Center United Methodist Church, which is described as an old brick church built in 1867. There is a basement to the church which functions and a meeting hall, including for the joint Methodist youth group.
The other major building in the community is the township hall, across the road from the church. The area is served by the Willow Lake Fire Department, but the Griswold barn fire was big enough that the Reading department was called to help.
Arvada Center is the home for the family farms of the Sorensen and Griswold families, and probably the Watsons, too. Phil Wine was originally from Arvada Center. As typical of the former Northwest Territories, there are clear section roads through the farmland such that flying east of Arvada Center you could count off the miles to find a farm.
By 2000 the Griswolds had grown into a dedicated milking operation with "Four huge barns, a sixty-stall milking parlor, and ... thirty-six hundred cows."FtS37 With 32 full-time employees, they are the biggest employer in Arvada Center.