Belden, ND

Mountrail County
Inhabited as of 6/05

Belden was founded by Finnish settlers in 1904. Like many ghost towns, the origins of it’s name are still in dispute. It is named either for W.L. Belden, US Indian Agent-at-Large at Fort Berthold, or for the Postmaster’s hometown in Indiana.

Although the locals denied it, Belden was once said to be a hotbed of communist activity. Couldn’t have been much of a hotbed however considering Belden’s population never really got above 25.

Although the locals denied it, Belden was once said to be a hotbed of communist activity. Couldn’t have been much of a hotbed however considering Belden’s population never really got above 25.

In the late 2000’s, the oil industry began booming in the area and some site visitors have reported new residents in abandoned towns like Belden.

Private Property signs are prominently posted in Belden, and the road which used to lead into town is very overgrown.

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


30 Responses to “Belden, ND”
  1. Jerry says:

    Not a ghosttown anymore…

  2. Can you tell us anymore than that, Jerry? Are any of the building pictured on this page inhabited again?

  3. Jerry says:

    A New Store was built across the Highway from a New Cabin that replaces the Old Store site and a Electrical Substation along with several oil wells dot the Highway there. The Church is used regularly.

    • Marie says:

      Can I get the name and number for the church. I am looking for some information on my grandmother who was born near Belden. Thanks.

    • Joe Aho says:

      The “new store” was originally the Post Office that was remodeled and added on to. My grandpa homesteaded 4 miles west of Belden at the bottom of the hill on the south coulee (TTT) road. The yellow house in the pictures was my Great Aunts house. Across from the store where a trailer house now sits on the northwest corner was Husa’s General Store that was in business until the early 90s.

      • Deb Gaub says:

        Joe, are you speaking of Vic & Marian? I’d love to be in touch with you…..the Aho family were very dear to my family……

  4. Barb Isaacson McFarland says:

    There is a bed and breakfast that was once my grandfathers farm.

    • susan ferguson says:

      we lived across the road from the Isaacsons…the Matt Niemitalo family….I remember Robbie, Greg, Mona Lou, and Bebe very well and often wondered what happened to them..I am Susan

  5. Steven Nelson says:

    The old Beldon Store used to have the best deal around for maverick jeans – cheaper than Minot and the Husa’s would usually throw some free candy in on the deal.

  6. candace dudley says:

    I have lots of fond memories of Belden N.D.My Grandparents Nestor and Annie Laukala were from there.They had a farm there for years.Almost all the houses and bussisness I have been in are gone.There is oil activity there.Lots of wells pumping.I miss the way it used to be.Everything changes and it is sad.I was in Belden in July.There is a little convienient store where the post office used to be.The church still has services every Sunday.There is a beautiful cabin in town that we stayed at for the Belden Reunion back in 2007.This last time we were there we stayed at Fred Evans place.They have a lovely place in the counrty.They have extraordinary cabins out there.We stayed in there cabin for a week.It was so peaceful and relaxing.I am so glad I went back one last time.The Good memories will always be in my heart.

    • Mary Martin says:

      My name is Mary. My grandmother and grandfather lived in Belden. My mother was born there. My grandmothers name was Helga Maki her husband was Jack Maki. She later married Eli Laukala. Did anyone know them. They are buried at the Beldon Finnish Cemetery. Also, does anyone have information on how I can find out about the mineral rights.

    • Mary Martin says:

      I meant the mineral rights for the oil there.

      • John MS Jones says:

        Hi Mary,
        You can find mineral deeds and mineral leases at the Mountrail County Recorders office. The state recorders offices have a website. North Dakota Recorders Office Network.
        There is a subscription fee. $25.00 a year.
        Using that website you can find a treasure of the type of information that your looking for. The one problem is that their electronic records only show the last few years. If your living in North Dakota or visit there then visit the recorders office. It’s on the 2nd floor of the courthouse in Stanley. You’ll find records reaching back to homestead days.
        Good Luck

  7. candace Dudley says:

    These houses belonged to my relatives

  8. Interesting since ND was my home state.

  9. R.J. Crisafulli says:

    Tried to find Belden, ND, in the Highway Atlas, but was not listed, so Googled it. Obituary in the Plattsburgh, NY, Press Republican, July 20, 2012, for one Odean D. Schaefer, age 80, born August 5, 1931, in Belden, ND, died July 18, 2012, in Port Henry, NY. Will be buried in Moriah, NY, way up by the Canadian border. Wonder if he wa born in one of the old structures above?

  10. Crystle says:

    Hi there – a few friends and I travel around the state as well to take pictures of old ghost towns and abandoned farms/farmsteads. We came across Belden because it wasn’t very far from Minot (where we live) and I was curious as to how the oil activity has affected the town.

    From the road, facing the hill, there is a building to the left that has fell for the most part but appears to be trying to hold on to it’s shape. I usually want to explore old farms inside and out, but even I wouldn’t risk this one. Looking to the right (which I think is the building pictured above that slants), that building has completely fallen. The roof itself seems to be holding up, but the walls and such have lost their fight with wind and nature.

    Down the hill, looking from the two aforementioned buildings, there is what looks like the first pictured building and more to the right, the white house. Both are still there and appear to be in decent shape. They seem sturdy (well, more so than the other ones) and hopefully they withstand time and wind here on the prairie.

    There is a house right next to this ‘town’ that appears to be lived in. We didn’t see anyone there, nor any vehicles, but to me it didn’t look abandoned. It was very disconcerting to be standing in this old town and watching over the fields the sheer number of tankers, trucks and oil field equipment driving by. The old church (for this town? not sure?) is across the main road and to the left if you are still standing on the hill. I managed to get it in some of my pictures of the old buildings.

  11. janet says:

    Loved summers there. The Husa boys, their sister Ellen Ingeroi and their sister-in-law, Martha, ran the store. The store was a gathering place for gossip and exchange of information. There was a town hall on the other side of the highway and there was the Belden cemetery. The old school house and the ingeroi and Husa homes have either been torn down or moved away.

  12. abbeyrose says:

    Mary Hill was my grandmother who lived in Belden for many years. She cared for a couple of elderly men but I cannot remember their names. The store, Husa’s is well remembered along with Laukala’s Ingerois, Niematalos. I believe Gramma’s house caved in. She left in about 1962 or so to live with us in Minot. I remember the big wooden swing my Uncle Ervin built for her, it was green with bench seating. No running water just the pump in the kitchen sink and the cistern in the basement when you moved the rug you could lift the trap door and look down there. It sees like most of the houses were in a circle in a valley? Anyone remember that? Thanks!

  13. Marie says:

    My great grandmother Saima Aliina Typpo lived 18 miles from Belden and 10 miles from Sanish (1913) with her uncle Sanfred and his family. My grandmother Sally was born August 15th 1916 and we are looking for who was her father. Later Saima married William Kuismi and moved from the area. I am wondering if someone knows anything about the Typpo family and was there a Finnish church in the area that might have birth records. Maybe a list of all the people who lived in the area around 1915 to 1916? Thanks..

  14. Jerry says:

    What year did the Belden store close? I still have a pair of western booths that I purchased there shortly before they closed. I also was given some ice cream with that purchase

  15. Dennis Lahti says:

    It was a great place to grow there. My parents owned a farm west of Belden. A couple of the pictures are of my grandparents house and windmill. Marvin and Milford Husa, the gentlemen who ran the store were wonderful, They treated the neighbor kids so wonderfully. Could get a pop and candy bar for 30 cents. Wranglers and cowboy boots cheaper than anywhere else. My mom was the postmaster in town till they closed the office, in the late 80’s. The new store is where the post office used to be.

  16. Darley says:

    I believe the first picture was the home of Annie Kivi, she was my Great Aunt. Several times in the late 60’s early 70’s my mother, grandmother and I would drive to Belden in the summer. What a treat, I remember aunt Annie’s kitchen with the hand pump and the counters so low it seemed like the house was built for short people. I remember all of the old Finnish women gathering in her kitchen speaking Finn with my grandma. Grandma Julia was a Laukala who was at one time married to Ruben Oja, Aunt Annie’s brother. My mother could understand some of it me, not any. No trip to Belden was complete without a trip to the Husa boys store. Martha was taking her break visiting with the other women at aunt Annie’s.
    There has been several mentions of being a hotbed for communist actity and according to my late Grandfather Ruben Oja, there was. There is an aticle that was written in the Minot Daily News re: this subject, Mother Blor or something like that. Grandpa Ruben’s father died when Ruben was young and his mother remarried several times (after the death of husbands) and I have been trying to find information about the Oja family. Where in Finland they came from etc. I’m sure no body alive would have first hand information about him but, maybe there would have someone that has heard a story or two.

    • Dan says:

      My wife’s mother was Arlove Kivi and her grandmother was Anna Kivi from Belden. Her mother always spoke about a family store in Belden. I recall her (my wife) talking about the “Sugar Loaf” mountain in the area.

  17. Darley says:

    The house that my mother was born in still stands down in the valley, at the time of her birth the property belonged to John Oja. I would like to know who owns it now and get permission to explore it.

  18. Debbie Gaub Walter says:

    I have friends from Minot who are buried in the Cemetery and I’ve been there to pay my respects….Vic Aho family are buried there…..Marian Aho still spent time in their home in Belden a couple of times a year…..I was there in 1994 before this oil mess started up and it was peaceful and beautifully AWESOME !!! I live in Northern Idaho now and miss my hometown, Minot, like crazy…..scared to come home again because the oil activity…..

  19. Terry Davidson says:

    oh my gosh….I came across this site when I was doing some family history searching. My family originated from the Belden area when they came to America from Finland. My grandfather’s name was Levi Davidson (son of David Niemi) and he married Ida Oja (shortened from Ojala). My family tree includes surnames of Lahti, Laukala, Kyllonen, and Maki which all from that area. Thank you all for sharing your stories!

Leave A Comment