Sherbrooke, ND

Sherbrooke, ND

Steele County
Vacant as of 10/03

Sherbrooke was plotted in 1884 by Dustin P. Baldwin, and named after Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. Although rumors of a railroad line surfaced several times, the line never materialized and Sherbrooke quickly declined.

Sherbrooke was once the county seat of Steele County. The only population figures we have on Sherbrooke are from 1895, with a population of 144.

Most of the landscape is very overgrown and quickly being reclaimed by nature. The overgrowth was so dense, we could barely see this pink house from the road, even considering we visited in fall and most of the leaf cover was gone!

The red house pictured below is the largest building still standing in Sherbrooke. It’s the former home of Arlene Carpenter and it looked like it was the most recently occupied. It had several outbuildings including a garage, a barn, and a stable.

The relatively modern construction of the houses in Sherbrooke, and the ruined condition of the older structures, would suggest it’s a second generation ghost town. Vacated, re-inhabited at some point, and then abandoned again.

Sherbrooke’s most famous former resident would be the late Clarence Norman Brunsdale, both Governor and US Senator between the years of 1951 and 1960. He was born in Sherbrooke in 1891.

Sherbrooke was one of the first ghost towns we ever visited. We hadn’t yet perfected our photography methods and so we intend to make a return trip one day and take better pictures.

Sorry, no photo enlargements available for Sherbrooke.

**Source Material – North Dakota Place Names – Douglas Wick

27 thoughts on “Sherbrooke, ND

  1. My husband and I visted Sherbrooke, and it was our most exciting find to date! We saw what looked like an area that may have been an old cemetary, and a couple of grottos. On another note, “Towning” has become one of our favorite pasttimes because of this site, so thanks for doing this!! Love the new format!

    1. My mother built the shrine. Farther back is a pink house, which we built over the foundation of the old jail. There was a three-story house across the road, with seven gables, which we finally had to have demolished by the Finley Fire Department, as it was starting to become a danger, and Finley teenagers were coming out and messing around in there and it could have been disastrous.

  2. My father-in-law actually used to live in the brown house in the pictures when he was a boy. Want ANY info on the town, just contact me.

    1. Hello Kelly:
      Merrry Christmas!!
      I saw your online reply regarding Sherbrooke, ND. I know where the Brusndale home was but on what street is/was the home you are referring to; the one your father-in-law once lived in?
      Many thanks,
      Don MacKay

      1. I had the privilege to live in Sherbrooke as a child. I went to 2nd grade there in 1957. The school building was later moved to Luverne ND and is now used as a bar. I, along with my parents, siblings and grandparents lived in what was called the “Murray House”. My grandmother, great aunts (2), great uncle, and great grandparents all lived in the Brunsdale House. The Devlin Family lived in the pink house and prior to that they lived in the old auditors building across Washington Street.. The grottos were built by the Devlin Family.

        1. Hello Rosemary – we went to high school together at Finley. I live in Tennessee – where are you?

  3. Otis Moe’s house burnt down a few weeks ago. It was a large pretty farm house. I got a bunch of pictures before it burnt.

    1. My grandfather Elmer Brunsdale and his brother Norman, who later became governor of ND, were born in Sherbrooke while my gr grandfather Knute Brunsdale was county treasurer back in the late 1800’s.

      If somebody had a picture of the Brunsdale home in Sherbrooke I would really appreciate a copy.

  4. we tried locating Sherbrooke this last weekend with no luck. My gps had us going down a farm use road in the middle of a field, until we came upon some kind of brick building or brick house of some sort. we werent sure if the town was just completely gone by now or if we just need some better directions. Ifsomeone knows if there is still any indication of a town and has directions I would greatly appreciate if someone shares any info. this sounds like the exact kind of town I would love to find. and the challenge of finding it is whats kind of fun. thanks

  5. Sherbroke is still there, five miles east of Finley, 3 miles South, and 1/2 mile east……before you go the last 1/2 mile east ,the Sherbroke cemetery is there ,with some very cool old tombstones, along with some not so old.

    I also have an old map of some of the old structures and who lived here…….

    1. Hello.
      I’m the great-granddUghter of Lorning And Bessie Bugbee. I’d love any info about them and Sherbrooke. Pictures, stories, maps, facts, anything.
      Thank you for keeping and sharing the history!
      Caroline (Bugbee) Kuhn.
      (Verdean Bugbee >Leslie Bugbee>Lorning +Bessie Bugbee)
      (I’m told Leslie Bugbee left at age 15, around 1934, and joined the CCC)

      1. Hi Caroline,

        I host a Steele County history and genealogy website at:

        If you follow the “Biographies” link you will find bios for both Lorniing and Jesse Bugbee, There is also more Sherbrooke info under the “City Histories” link.

        If this is helpful, I may be able to find more information. My contact info is on my website.

        Take care,

  6. thanks Char…..gonna try to find it again…..those directions sound like the ones my gps gave us……like I said it had us going out into the middle of a field and all we saw was some kind of unusual bldg that kind of reminded me of a church or something. but thanks for those directions and we will try locating the town again

    1. Tammy, That’s the place !! I think the church-like structure is a small shrine.
      Nothing left of the ‘town’ through a home or two is still in the area.

      1. thanks Don!…..thats exactly what it seems like that church-like bldg is a shrine. Its in the middle of a field pretty much, on a farm use kinda road. we came in from the east on a farm use road and then went south and came up to a highway and there was a farmstead right there. wasn’t sure if that church-like bldg was the only bldg left of the town or not. thanks for the info

        1. Tammy,
          Somewhere online is a plat map of the town with the names of the streets,the house owners and the location of important buildings as they were ‘back in the day’. If you attempt to find that plat and can’t, give me another shout and I’ll look for it.

        1. Hi! Wondered do you have any pictures?! I am the oldest daughter of Gary Huso. i have MANY fond memories of Sherbrooke. remember those shrines and that heart shaped pond with MUCH fondness. Remember playing in the church as a child with my cousins. Have searched for pictures,with little sucess. I love to go back to the area although almost all signs of it are gone. Cousins have mentioned how cool it might be to be bale to move the shrines…..even if it was just to that little cemetary… would be a big job.but it would be kinda neat. I still LOVE that little crib frame that is out there. Was sad when it had vanished.but then found it so wonderful to have it be brought back refinisihed. God bless the person who took the time and cared enough to do that! I never saw Sherbrooke when it was an actual town but my father always speaks of it so fondly. I would LOVE to have pictures to go with my hearts memorioes . Thank you for any assistance you can provide. Last time I was there the heart shaped fish pond is still there too 😉 Hard to find because it is all overgrown.but if you know where to can find it 😉

  7. My husband lived in Sherbrooke as a child and attended school there until grade five. The family then moved into Finley, ND.
    The brown house in the photos was the home of my husband’s grandparents, Ole and Tomine Huso. Arlene Carpenter was the youngest child of their seven children.

  8. I hope no one ever tries to move those shrines, as suggested by, as suggested by Kathy (Huso). That property belongs to us and we do not want it desecrated.

    1. Ni disrespect was intended. I was just merely expressing my fondness of the things which remain out at what once was Shertbrooke. I loved all that I remember of what it was that I remember from it being as a small child. I was simply expressing a wish/sentiment that those things which remain could somehow remain ‘forever’. I am pretty nostalgic ,I suppose. I know there wasn’t much left of what once was Sherbrooke even when I was running around there as a small child. I loved that old church that we played in. I wish I had a photo of it. I loved the little cemetary as a child. ….that little iron crib was something i always mused over. I am glad that it remains there to this day and was happy the one time we had thought it gone and then only find to have it returned and discover someone had taken the time to refinish it and then they put it back. So I apologize if my comment of adoration for the things of old to be somehow preserved in time forever offended you in any way. I was merely expressing my love of the place and the things which remain.

  9. Do you know of any records of Morse Elbert Rhea marriage to an Ethel Maude Jenne June 20, 1914. These are my wife’s grandparents.

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