Melville, ND

Melville, ND

Foster County
Inhabited as of 10/04

Melville was established in 1883 just east of the pinoneer settlement of Newport. That same year, Newport’s post office moveds to Melville. It is unknown who the town is named for since two of the landowner’s associates share the name “Melville” and were both likely candidates for the honor.

A population of 200 was reported in 1890.

On our visit to Melville, we were kindly shown around the townsite by the Biels.  They serve as caretakers for the townsite on behalf of the owner, who lives out of state.

Present population is under 5.

We believe Melville’s decline may have been brought on by a lack of a water source. There are remnants of wells all over the site most of which have been filled-in by the caretaker.

The big blue building pictured below was the former Melville town hall.

The picture of the sidewalk leading to a vacant lot is the former site of the Melville school.


Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

5 thoughts on “Melville, ND

  1. “blue House” in actually Loesch family home
    One of the Loesch great grandsons still owns the property and is in process of moving the house to a dryer location (watertable is currently seaping into basement and destroying the structure)

    How do I know the place? I visited my Grandma Caroline Loesch there many time as a young child

  2. My Uncle and aunt actually own the old Melville hall now. They also mow a lot of the property around Melville. My Grandpa had the gas station there I believe in the 50-60s? Myself and my siblings all had our graduation parties at the Melville hall in the 90s. In the storage room the old roller skates were still in there. 🙂

  3. Melville was one of the later towns in the state to be wired up – late enough if Otter Tail Power hadn’t come to town in 1934, Tri-County Electric Cooperative (now Northern Plains Electric) would likely have built a line into town about the same time they added Edmunds and Pingree.

  4. I have a picture of a building my Dad gave me. On the back it says….our old butcher shop in Melville N.D. Left there about 1912 or 13. the picture was taken about 1976

  5. I grew up in Melville. I went to school there from 1957 until we went to Carrington school in 1963. My grandparents lived across the road from the Loesch house. We first lived a block south of there then to Carrington. I live on the Hansen Farm on the west side of town for 15 years. We had some great neighbor’s and some great times. I can remember the”goose” passage train and Biels station. The hall is where I learned to roller skate. If my information is correct, Melville was the county seat before Carrington got it.

Leave a Reply