It has been decades since anyone has lived on the small farmstead that made this small North Dakota farming community famous.

But listen carefully. As visitors drive up from the gravel road, they can hear the "champagne music" flowing freely from the barn where Lawrence Welk used to play his accordion.

"His sisters would get so sick of him playing that thing that they would send him out to the barn," said Welk's niece Edna Schwab.

Ten years after Welk's death at age 89, people still visit his family farm in Strasburg, tune into reruns of "The Lawrence Welk Show" on public television, and join fan clubs celebrating the "wunnerful, wunnerful" orchestra leader.

Schwab is one of several local people who give tours of the Welk farmstead two miles outside Strasburg, a town of about 550 people. A life-size cutout of the King of Champagne music greets visitors as they walk into the sod house in which he, his parents and seven siblings lived.

The homestead, which includes a summer kitchen, granary, buggy house, blacksmith shop, outhouse and barn, was restored and opened for tours in 1991. The Welks never had running water, Schwab said.

Wedding pictures dot the home, though it's missing one -- the music maestro's wedding in Sioux City, Iowa.

"They didn't have a photographer," Schwab said.

A German Bible and prayer book lie on an end table in the living room. The organ is a close match to the one the Welks owned.

About 3,000 people this year visited the site, tucked away about 100 miles south of Bismarck and 2 miles off the "Lawrence Welk" highway.

Welk left his family farm on his 21st birthday after playing at community weddings and barn dances. He didn't hit the big time until more than 20 years later, with a 1951 television appearance in Los Angeles. ABC picked up his show in 1955.

It ran for 16 years, and was syndicated until 1982. Welk died May 17, 1992.

Some public TV stations started running Welk's show again in 1987; about 267 stations air it nationwide every week, said Margaret Heron, syndication manager for the Welk Group.

"I think its appeal is that it takes us back to a gentler lifestyle that we don't live today," said Heron, Welk's longtime secretary and friend.

Welk's music is also featured in live shows at the Welk resort in Branson, Mo., which occasionally travel.

"It brings back a lot of nostalgia and memories," said Welk's son, Larry. "And not just for older generations. I don't think my father or any of us thought it would go on as strong as this."

WelkNotes, a Yahoo!-based fan club started in 2000, claims about 230 fans, said Judy Shaw, a 63-year-old Tennessean who runs the site. She started a Welk fan club in 1972.

The Internet chat group has few stated rules, but one warns: "Take note: Flaming, offensive language, or anything of an unfriendly nature will not be acceptable on this list."

Welk would approve. He liked to keep things clean, even firing original Champagne Lady Alice Lon in 1959 for showing "too much knee" on camera.

Some might find Welk's wholesomeness corny. But Shaw thinks that's why his legacy endures.

"It's just good, clean, happy music," she said. "Even now, you can just tune in and feel good."