bathgate1

Bathgate, ND

Pembina County
Inhabited as of 7/06

Bathgate, ND is in Pembina County, about 15 miles south of the Canadian border. It was founded in 1879 as Bayview, but was re-named for the Scottish city of the same name when the Post Office was established in 1881.

US Census Data for Bathgate
Total Population by Place

1890 – 377
1900 – 641
1910 – 328
1920 – 352
1930 – 292
1940 – 312
1950 – 209
1960 – 175
1970 – 133
1980 – 67
2000 – 66
2010 – 43

Note the population spike in 1900.  Other sources list Bathgate’s peak population as just under 900 in the 1890′s.

The most impressive building in Bathgate is the former North Dakota School for the Blind which was founded in 1908 and continued to operate until 1960.

We had the pleasure of speaking at length with one of the residents who was quite forthcoming with the history of Bathgate, and the locations of its now lost structures. He also expressed his dismay at how quickly Bathgate’s current property owners demolish the buildings in town once they’ve been vacant for any length of time. Sad that more don’t recognize the value and heritage of the structures that remain standing.

We’re told the original townsite extended out to about 13th or 14th street.

CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

Comments
65 Responses to “Bathgate, ND”
  1. Tom Trottier says:

    The turquoise house was my grandparent’s house. I was born there in 1942.

    • Dave Bolte says:

      The house after the bridge was owned by Ole Olson. He also ran a repair business in the building with his name on the front.

      • katie olson says:

        ole olson and nettie olson is my great grandparents. this is amazing seeing their house and shop on some of these sites. i miss visiting bathgate. havent made it that way in years.

    • Bosch says:

      Hey do you have any more information on Bathgate since im looking for information for a North Dakota Studies class

  2. In the 1960′s and 1970′s, I used to go once a month to the former school for the blind, now a nursing home, and play piano or organ for hymns on Sunday afternoons for the residents, when my church would hold Sunday services there. I remember it as an amazing building with gorgeous wood plank floors, stone stairways with wood and cast iron banisters, and tall ceilings. I still hope it’s beautiful…but I wonder what is happening to it now….

  3. Jim Klein says:

    I attended the School for the Blin at Bathgate from 1953 to closing in 1961. Then I came back to manage the rest home 1993 to mid 1996. Still a wonderful place. I and my family truly loved the town and rest home and the friedly people there.

  4. I’m enjoying your Bathgate photos. I was born on a farm one and a half miles west of Bathgate 75 years ago this month. They told me it was during a March blizzard and the doctor from town couldn’t get there for two days. My grandparents family on my mother’s side had a house just to the left of the iron fence and gatepost shown in the school for the blind picture. I believe that house was later moved to Cavalier to somewhere near the court house. My dad’s family had a farm on the river just east of town on the road past the town dump.
    Growing up I can remember helping dad plant trees around the farmstead (trees are still there). The huge piles of everything iron and other metals along the railroad tracks for the war effort. The Hillis & Manning ?? store fire with ash covered snow on the school playground. The Masonic Lodge was later built on that site. The post office just before the red bridge you have pictured. Across from that the hall and small city library. Ole Olson’s and Blahs? (Blase)?(sp) garages, bank, bars, churches, etc.
    I still have one item from those days at Bathgate. In the early 40′s my dad took me to an auction at old Otto Vollrath’s (sp) farm. The lot that I was able to buy for 50 cents included a heavy oak swivel desk chair, oak desk and the crudely mounted horns of what was reported to be the last wild buffalo in Pembina county. It was shot by Otto where it roamed along the Tongue River just west of Bathgate. Someone bought the chair for 50 cents from me after the sale, so I got the desk and horns free.
    I hope to visit Bathgate again this summer.

    • bob and dody brose says:

      My father-in law owned a bar in bathgate according to my wife who was born in 1934. Does this ring a bell. His name was Halverson.

  5. Kathy Kalis says:

    The Bethlehem Community live there.

  6. Dennis Thompson says:

    I hope to visit Bathgate this fall when I come back to ND for my 50th high school class reunion at West Fargo. My mother, Loreen Johnston, was born in Bathgate in 1921. At that time my grandparents ran a hotel in town. They had moved from Drayton to Bathgate in 1921 staying until 1923 when they bought a farm near Roseau MN.

  7. saiger, blayne says:

    bridge is now closed by the wallace saiger farm :( too many big farmers and big trucks, run it to the ground.

  8. Kathie Hollinger says:

    I live in California My grand parents moved to Bathgate, Aunts and Uncles were raised there. Taught School My Grand Mother worked at the blind school she use to do the ironing I think Her name was Katherine hollinger she was married to charles hollinger. My anutns and uncles had farms. My grand father was a dyrman and he delivered the town goods from the train. I remember the church Cathloic and my grand parents farm and then my grand mother moved her hole house to the towm across the bridge when I was small. I want to bring my children there but I guess there is nothing left. My Uncle Leo ettten is buried in the cemetary by the river.

    • Jim Klein says:

      Hi, Kathie Hollinger,
      I was a student at the old Blind School at Bathgate. I also ran it for while in the 1990′s as the administrator of the rest home. Wonderful place; wonderful people; and wonderful memories. I vaguely remember Mrs. Hollinger as a laundry worker and helper along with Vera in the kitchen.
      The buildings are currently occupied by BethlehemBooks.com and still used.
      I’d like to share more.
      Jim Klein
      701-845-4349
      kleins@csicable.net

    • Amanda Werth says:

      Come on a Sunday morning, and join a vibrant worshipping community at Bathgate Presbyterian Church, still going strong in 2013, its 130th year of honoring God!

  9. Austin James says:

    My grandfather and great grandfather, as far as I know, lived and farmed there. My great gandfather, Frank Robert Austin, married a Houston, who I believe, have turned their house into a Museum in bathgate. They were scottish I think, Anybody know any information that goes with what little I know??

  10. Andy Bathgate says:

    Interesting to find a town with my name on it.
    I am from Alberta Canada but will be working in se Saskatchewan and plan to visit the old townsite in late february.

  11. bob and dody brose says:

    My father-in-law had a bar in Bathgate late thirties or early fourtys. Name was Noble Halverson Does anybody remember this name. My wife was around six years old at the time.

  12. Mike says:

    Bathgate was fun to live there miss the old town we moved all over ND. We waled through the home it still had a lot of papperwork in there in the late 90s eraly 2000.

  13. Lori says:

    Thanks for posting this. I bought a really old real photo postcard (off Ebay) of the school about 2 years ago, it’s nice to read some personal stories about it.

  14. My mother was born in Bathgate in 1921. Her name was Lorraine Louden. I once asked her what she thought of Bathgate when she was growing up there. She said, “I thought it was heaven.”

  15. Dean Sevigny says:

    My parents who are now decessed used to go to dances at Bathgate in the early 1950′s. They spoke of the area fondly until they passed.

  16. Fawn Gendron says:

    I lived in Bathgate for a few years when I was in elementary school, approx 1989-1993. We lived in the house next to Margaret McColl and across from the Houston family. The house’s parlor had pocket doors and a beautiful stained glass window. My mother worked at the Pioneer Rest Home.

  17. Helen Lallo says:

    My great grandparents moved to Neche around 1900 and then to Bathgate where they lived until their deaths. Would love to connect with anyone that has information on the town, my family, old newspapers, photos and especially the schools from 1910-1935. Not only did August and Justine’s children attend school in Bathgate but their daughter (my grandmother) Mathilda and Emmett Fox married and raised children on Bathgate farm (Beatrice, Francis, Robert, Marjorie went to school in Bathgate) until they moved in the 1930′s to Minneapolis. Helena “Lena” and Eva were school teachers in Bathgate on the 1930 census.
    Here is their names
    August Eisbrener (1865-1941) laborer, farmer, railroader, town marshall
    wife Justine (1871-1933)
    their children
    Julius (1895-1982)
    Emma E. Christianson (1901-)
    Mathilda “Tillie” E. Fox (1902-1947
    Eva Eisbrener (1904-1973)
    Helen “Lena” E. Swenning (1907-1998)
    Albert (1915-1915)
    We live in California so appreciate any information you can share – Helen
    Eisbrener@outlook dot com

  18. DorothyPulliam says:

    This is a very nice site.
    My Greatgrand Parents ;Daniel and Margaret McIntosh moved from Glengarry Ontario Canada
    to North Dakota;they were Married in 1882 in North Dakota;.they had lived a couple different towns
    one being Hamilton and by 1915 or so moved to Bathgate.
    they lived the rest of thier day;s in bathgate.Daniel died in 1941 and wife Margaet (bethune) Mcintsoh
    died in 1945. they had children named Mrs.Annie Thomas; Hattie became Harriet Carlson; Sara clark;
    Flora; Alma; Vera; son Dougald.
    does anyone know of this Family ;would really like to know if any pictures of them.

  19. marion atkinson says:

    hi i live in Bathgate in Scotland was wondering if there is ant connection
    thanks Marion

    • I hear a lot of people who lived in Bathgate were Scottish…

    • lorlee peterson says:

      yes Bathgate was named after the town is Scotland. My grandfather’s family was from England and they farmed land for the Birds family before they bought their own land. but my father and his cousin Joe was the last Martindale to farm that land and they farmed it for 100 yrs.

  20. Daniel Gunderson says:

    I grew up in Bathgate across from the “city” park. I love hearing these old stories about Bathgate and the people that grew up there. Keep them coming!

  21. Steve Cheesebrow says:

    I am doing geneologic research on my maternal grandmother side. Her last name was Demars with all the different spellings. Is there any person I can call in Bathgate to get information from.

    • Garret Brown says:

      Yes, I know those folks. I actually grew up across the river from them.

    • Stephanie Sailer says:

      I just saw this post and figured I would reply even though it is several months old. My aunt and uncle lived in Bathgate and had the last name DeMars. Their first names were Virgil and Jeanette. Jeanette’s maiden name was Berard. I am not sure if that is who you are referring to or not. They also had siblings who were married to each other, but I think they lived in Neche, ND. The siblings were Leona and Cye (Lyman) DeMars. Leona’s maiden name was also Berard. I hope that helps!

      • lorlee martindale peterson says:

        i grew up in Bathgate and some of my best memories was of Virgil’s Store. He and Jeanette were like grandparents to me and my sisters. We attended church with them and after church he would open the store for all of us to pick up a few things.
        Leona and Cye’s son Lee Demars still live in Neche. He and Linda had five kids and many grandchildren. Lee was the mayor of neche for many years. He and his sons and daughter do a lot of singing around the area.

    • Tiffany Larson says:

      I am a DeMars descendant. My grandmother was Beatrice DeMars and her siblings were Everett and Francis, who is in her nineties and living in fargo. My dad was raised on one of the original DeMars homesteads along the tongue river.

  22. Marie says:

    I lived near Bathgate with my parents and brothers for many years. My Grandmother, Angeline Lindsay, stayed in the nursing home, actually called the rest home, for several years.

  23. Evelyn (Berard)Hendrickson says:

    I was reading notes from you and saw my Aunts name, Angeline was my Dad;’s sister. I graduated from
    Bathgate High School in North Dakota I now live in Wichita, Kansas. Love to hear from you.

    • Marie says:

      Hi Evelyn! You said you are an aunt. I am from the Lindsay family. My husband has relatives in Pratt, Kansas and we have been down there a couple of times.
      I now live in Montana and my daughter and I are trying to go through genealogy. I sure don’t have much for Angeline’s side.

  24. Brian says:

    My great grandparents had a farm near Bathgate. John and Yvonne Berard. Do these names ring a bell with anyone? I vaguely remember visiting there when I was very young. I got to sit up on the John Deere tractor.

    • Stephanie Sailer says:

      I am sure that I related somehow, but I am too young to really remember them. I believe that John Berard was brothers with my grandpa (Eugene Berard), but again, I am not entirely sure. I do remember visiting the cemetery in Bathgate as a child and always being freaked out because there was an Yvonne Berard buried there, and that also happens to be my mom’s name (who is still living). :-)

    • Sandy (Thacker) Kuznia says:

      My grandmother Clara Gibney was very good friends with Yvonne. They talked daily on the telephone speaking in French as it was a party line. Grandpa, Leslie Gibney, was the rural mail carrier for fifty years and had several interesting delivery vehicles. I remember Yvonne as being very classy and very pretty. I caught them smoking once. I would ride up on the train from Hamilton. They lived right by the train depot and the garage was in the basement of the house.

  25. Linda says:

    Hi just want to say Bathgate is a very interesting little town.My mom grew up there & graduated there in 1961.
    So if anybody knows my mom Deanna Rickbeil or went to school with her.She would be glad to share the good old days…

  26. A Wright says:

    Yes, Bathgate was named for the place in Scotland. A number of the early residents in that area were Scots moving on from Ontario, where they first settled. Land in Ontario had become scarce and expensive.

  27. Jennifer says:

    I currently live in Bathgate and had to laugh when I read this and the captions with the pics because its crazy to me that you would talk to one person and assume that’s the true story. Granted our tiny town is small but the people that live here have hearts of gold and pride in our community. The Masonic lodge was turned into a home, the pics. of the old homes are houses that were flooded out and beyond repair (one of the homes being my husbands grandfathers and we now live in the new home that was built for him by the community) the pic of the shed that reads a building from somewhere else that was just dumped was actually moved in by my husbands grandfather and used for a gardening shed and sits on our property. In the old school for the blind lives a catholic community that runs a book publishing company out of it and as of last year the old gas station Oles had been given a face lift and a new purpose. We might be small but we have a lot of heart and pride in our town which can be seen everyday and especially on July 4th when the town as our annual parade, pot luck. softball game, and fireworks. Maybe you should do more research before you post information that just isn’t accurate.

    • Troy Larson says:

      It’s unfortunate that you would make your comments in such a confrontational manner, Jennifer. If you did any research about us, you would know that one of us has family in Bathgate, that it was a family member who renovated the Masonic Lodge (as you mentioned in your rude comment) before he passed away. There are some standards of discretion when addressing such matters of course, so I’ll say no more. Suffice to say, most people who want us to make a correction drop us a polite email and we make the change.

      We’re pretty certain that you represent a small minority of people we encounter, people who are offended that we have somehow labeled their town as a “ghost town.” Sorry you feel that way. There are abandoned and historic structures in Bathgate, and that’s what we photograph.

      Thanks for visiting.

      • Ryan says:

        I grew up in Bathgate and was glad to see Jennifer’s comments. I grew up with the man who rennovated the Masonic Lodge and know his mother well (whom by the way still stays there on occasion). I didn’t see anything wrong (or confrontational as you say) with what Jennifer said in her post. I’m glad to see someone taking pride in Bathgate. I loved my time there and it makes me happy to hear people are still taking pride in that great little town. You on the other hand came off as unprofessional in your response. This is a section for comments. Jennifer made a comment stating her pride in Bathgate and you labled her as rude. That to me is rude.

        • kevin says:

          Totally disagree. Jennifer’s post IS confrontational and the worst kind of internet trolling. She’s here claiming some vague inaccuracies but didn’t really correct anything. It’s obvious she’s just offended just like Troy said, like they have somehow labeled Bathgate as a ghost town. Well, I think both of you need to get a grip. The population numbers and the appearance of the town speak for themselves. The truth hurts.. You don’t like it, you guys would be welcome to find a new website to hang out on and leave this one for those of us who aren’t so crabby and thin-skinned.

          • Ryan says:

            Kevin, you’re an idiot. How is Jennifer’s post trolling? Have you been to Bathgate. By definition a ghost town is a town that has been completely abandoned. Bathgate currently has a population of 50-60. What Jennifer took offense to is them photographing a couple of rundown sheds and labeling the town a ghost town. What about all of the nice homes with beautifully landscaped yards? Are they not website worthy because then it would show the town to not be a ghost town at all? How did she not correct anything. She let it be known that the white shed wasn’t just “dumped” in Bathgate, it was moved there to be used as a garden shed. She let it be known that one of the houses was destroyed in a flood and the community had a new house built in town for her Grandfather. What exactly did you add to the discussion?

    • saulND says:

      Yes. When you use language like “Maybe you should do more research before you post information that just isn’t accurate.” like a 15-year-old on a Miley Cyrus blog, I can’t imagine how anyone could see that as confrontational??!!

      There’s an old expression… You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

      • Jennifer says:

        I feel that all of the responses to what was supposed to be a comment showing pride in my town and wanting to explain the pictures are all more confrontational than my original post. I would hope that everyone has pride in their communities and would want to explain about and stand up for their towns. I was in no way trying to personally attack the creators of this site, I think it is great that these small towns are recognized. I just simply feel like Bathgate is misrepresented and there is a lot more to the town then just these few pictures and that if more people in town had been talked to the information might have been more accurate. I also feel like unless you actually live here or have been to the town recently who are you to judge it. In response to explaining how our town was called a ghost town well that is what this site is all about and in his response Troy uses the term himself.

  28. Jennifer says:

    I am sorry that you took my comments as confrontational as they were not intended to be in any way. I was simply trying to point out that there is more to our town than this. I know the family that renovated the lodge hall and talk to his mom when she is up in the summer (so no disrespect was meant at all by pointing out that it was turned in to a home). I was simply explaining the pictures correctly and trying to get the point across that while our town is small it is in no way a “ghost town” we are a close community with a lot of pride in our town and that is simply what my original comments were getting across.

    • Andy says:

      The piece says Bathgate has 43 residents. I don’t know where you’re from, but in my world, that’s the oppositie of telling people Bathgate is a ghost town. To the contrary, it looks to me like they’ve told everybody Bathgate is not a ghost town. It has 43 residents.

      Did you read what was written here or just look at the pictures?

      • Jennifer says:

        Again I will say this site is ghost towns of ND and Tory himself uses the term in response to my original post. I did read what was said and looked at the pictures and felt I needed to clarify the pictures as well as stand up for the town I live in and love. Further more where it says “He also expressed his dismay at how quickly Bathgate’s current property owners demolish the buildings in town once they’ve been vacant for any length of time. Sad that more don’t recognize the value and heritage of the structures that remain standing.” If that was the case where buildings are just torn down then why were there any pics to be taken and where it says its sad that more don’t recognize the value and heritage of structures that remain that was exactly my point and why I wanted to clarify and explain the pictures because as a whole community we do recognize the value and heritage and that is exactly why I expressed the things I did. If I went around and took some pictures of run down buildings in Grand Forks and then posted them on here would no one want to correct me and ask why I didn’t post any other pictures. That was exactly another point yes there are run down house and old structures but there are other homes with nice yards, a fire hall, and a very nice city park. Again this all just comes back to my original point that this isn’t all there is to Bathgate and the town isn’t represented right.

  29. Bathgate Annie says:

    @Ryan. Waaaaaaaah. You wanna cry a little more? I know Troy and Terry. Terry’s related to the gentleman who fixed up the Masonic Lodge. He has family in Bathgate. And who appointed Ryan and Jennifer as the spokespeople for Bathgate? I enjoy this website tremendously and I don’t think Troy and Terry have done anything at all to make Bathgate look bad. Ryan and Jennifer apparently don’t have any reading comprehension. You guys care to explain how Troy and Terry called Bathgate a ghost town when the post clearly states there are 43 people in town? I see some photos of abandoned places, and that’s exactly what Troy and Terry take pictures of…. abandoned places.

    Troy, Terry, ignore these people and keep doing what you’re doing.

  30. Stephanie says:

    Wow, a lot of posts can take place in the course of one day for one little town.

    What it all seems to boil down to is that different people have different defintions for ‘ghost town’, and for some, unless it is completely abandoned, then it isn’t a ghost town. If Troy and Terry were to stick to this strict definiton, Bathgate, along with many other communities, wouldn’t even be a part of this website. For those of us with fond memories of these communities, that would be a tremendous loss.

    I grew up in Cavalier, and I also had family in Bathgate. I return there at least once per year (usually mid-summer) as my dad is buried in one of the cemeteries right outside of town. Clearly, there is still a community that lives in Bathgate. But, it’s not the little bustling town that I even remember from the late 1970s and early 1980s when my uncle owned a little store on the main street. My aunt and uncle’s house was destroyed in the flood of 1997, as were many other homes. They are now both deceased as well. The people, homes, and other structures that those of us remember are just ghostly images of times gone by. When I look at these pictures of old buildings, I see so much more than an old building. That old, run-down building fills me with pride and in some cases, happy memories of my past life. However, I cannot reach out and touch any of these things – whether it be those deceased family members, the steps leading to their house, or the sidewalk on main street. Every experience I have with Bathgate is, essentially, ghost-like.

    While it is wonderful that life continues in Bathgate with new homes, new memories and new reasons for it to be special, for those with memories of years gone by, what was special for us is gone. This fact should not (and for most, does not) diminish what is there today. The community of Bathgate that I remember is hardly recognizable; and sometimes this realization does cause one to mourn days gone by. The mourning is not because someone fails to recognize the good that is still there; it’s because that person is feeling a loss. This is something different and unique from a community, even like Cavalier, that still has a fair number of businesses, a school, and larger population.

    I can respect that those who call it home today are filled with pride in the community that have built – who wouldn’t be? Hopefully at some point, those same people can respect that others need to mourn for what is no longer in existence. Personally, I believe the two trains of thought can co-exist and thankfully most people believe this as well.

    The way I understand it, Troy and Terry’s focus is on the past and what was there and documenting for those of us who experienced life there to never to forget it. Therefore, it will never have the tourist-spin that emphasizes the pride of current-day inhabitants. For that, a “City of Bathgate” website would fit the bill much better.

  31. So enjoined these photo’s; My mother is Mary Jane Thomson who was born to Hebert & Kathleen Thomson of Bathgate, ND. My Father is Kenneth Kearcher from Cavalier (back in the 40′s Cavalier had its own hokey team all made up of Kearcher boys) Gary Cuffe from Cavailer came into my life at the age of 5 and stepped in to become the man I call Dad (the Cuffe’s owned the Chuck Wagon in Cavalier). I came to live with my grandmother Kathleen Thomson when she was acting administrator of the Pioneer Rest Home, live with her until she retired and moved to Detroit Lakes, Minn. Attended Neche High School, but hung out a lot in Cavalier. Our family still owns farm land in Bathgate going on over 115 years; when I think of all the hardships and sacrifices that were made by my family to have live back in the day when there was no convinces of today it makes this land even more special and very happy that my mother and her sister chose to keep this farm land and pass it on to the next generation.

  32. Sandy (Thacker) Kuznia says:

    Norval Baptie, world record holder speed skater was from Bathgate, Nd. By age 14 he was the nd speed skating champion

  33. Jim Benjaminson says:

    Bathgate had an early and exciting history — but suffered two major fires in the early days, which pretty much destroyed the towns growth. An interesting story with the blind school is the “campaign” that was waged to have the blind shool located in Bathgate. St. Thomas was a major contender and there was an actual election to choose which town would get the facilty. Bathgate won rather handily and the building was constructed — but the legislature had failed to approve an appropriation for such amenties as a furnace and furniture, so the building sat vacant for a short period until that could be remedied. I have an interesting photo that I don’t know how to post here but it shows a 1906 Pope-Hartford automobile sitting in front of the blind school building. It would appear that the building was not yet completed when the photo was taken. The only problem with the photo is, we don’t know who the people in the car are! I do know that Dr. Willson had probably the first automobile in Bathgate, and his father, who was editor of the Pink Paper, mentioned the car in the paper but never revealed what kind of car it was. Dr. Willson was actually practing in nearby Crystal and the Crystal newspaper also makes references to Dr. Willson’s automobile without naming what kind of car it is. Two of Bathgate’s former buildings were moved to the Pembina County Museum site 5.5 miles west of Cavalier — the Bathgate railroad depot and St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.

  34. Jim Benjaminson says:

    Photo has been sent!

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