Crystal Springs was founded in the Dakota Territory in 1873 and the Post Office opened with the name “CRYSTAL SPRINGS” in 1884–named for nearby Crystal Springs Lakes.
We were cruising west on the interstate one day and the Crystal Springs school, perched beautifully atop a hill along the highway, practically jumped out at us, and we stopped to get a few shots. Now arriving at Crystal Springs, North Dakota.
I’ve always thought Crystal Springs would be the perfect place for a roadside tourist stop. It’s about halfway between Bismarck and Fargo. The school above stands directly across the road from the church below… you could renovate the school into a B&B/gift shop with North Dakota-themed gifts, snacks and cold pop for the kids, last chance to get a North Dakota book! Crystal Springs would be back on the map. Ahhh, we can dream.
Crystal Springs was a popular roadside stopping point for years, until it’s access was cut off by Interstate 94. We didn’t realize when we took these photos in 2005 that there was another whole section of the town north of Interstate 94. A fellow photographer tipped us off, and we went back in 2013 to get what we had missed.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2018 Sonic Tremor Media
Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy