Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, ND

Wells County
Inhabited as of 6/08

Bremen is a small, unincorporated town near Fessenden in Wells County.  This central part of the state is very sparsely populated and dotted with abandoned places like the Remains of Munster School and Hamberg.  We intend to get some update photos next time we’re in Bremen.

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

This is the former Bremen bank.

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

Order Book Two

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

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

Comments
31 Responses to “Bremen, ND”
  1. minnemom says:

    Have you considered a pocket GPS to track your travels and pinpoint your photo locations? I recently purchased a little QStarz Travel Recorder and once I got the time synced with my computer and camera, it was very accurate in placing my photos on a map. I use it especially when I photograph historic markers, because it’s hard to remember exactly where I found them.

  2. My Grandfather clerked in that little bank and was there when it was robbed. He lived there and my dad was raised there. They also ran a grocery store and had a creamery there. My dad and uncle eventually ran the bar selling it to another uncle and aunt who ran it until recently. Lots of fun memories of Bremen.

    • Arno says:

      Hi Janie,
      I love your memories of Bremen. I live in Germany and I’m doing research about places called Bremen in the US, would you contact me at zweitmail3 [at] gmx.de, so that I could ask you a few more questions? That would be nice!
      Arno

    • Eric Bollingberg says:

      Janie,

      My great grandfather, grandfather and a great aunt were associated with the State Bank of Bremen in the years preceeding its closing. I grew up on the farm homesteaded by John Bollingberg just southwest of town. I’ve heard sketchy stories about the bank robbery and would love to hear your story. So are you related to the Johnsons who had the Johnson Bros. store? Yes there is very little left of Bremen but quite a town in its heyday.

      • janie johnson says:

        Eric, my dad was Duane Knudsen. I think he was a classmate of John Bollingberg, I remember Dad talking about John, did he go to college at St. John’s U. in MN? My aunt is Donna Mae O’Connor and my grandma was Irene (Lies) Knudsen. So Romeo Lies was also my great uncle, JM and Carrie Becvar second cousins. etc etc etc! Ha! (And that’s just my Dad’s side.)
        As far as the bank robbery I don’t know very much except the police let my Grandpa Rudy Knudsen keep the pistol used to rob the bank I think. Not sure where that ended up, but that’s what my dad said. I think my Grandpa died in 1949 so the bank robbery was before that.

        • Lynn Mickelson says:

          Hi Janie,
          Yes, I remember your dad talking about Bremen many times during the years that I worked with him. Just discovered this web site fairly recently, and just absolutely love it. There are so many interesting comments about certain places and people that I know or remember.

          Lynn Mickelson

    • Jo Berg says:

      Janie,
      My hometown is Bremen and you used to come to the farm to visit Mom and Dad – Donald and Barbara Lies. They were good friends of Donna Mae and Ray. Bremen was a great place to grow up, every kid should have the opportunity to experience that kind of lifestyle. Would be fun to go back for awhile, wouldn’t it!

  3. Jordan Olson says:

    hey you guys should make a trip to NW ND up to Fortuna, ambrose, alkabo, greonora, stady, and zahl area and get some pictures this spring or summer time. Thanks Jordan

    • Kristi says:

      Jordan, if you look at the column to the right on this page you will see a list of the towns they have documented, including several towns from the NW corner of the state–some that you suggest. Alkabo, especially, has some lovely summer photos posted, some of my favorites. I, too, love these pics of the Bremen bank. Very unique. Love this site! Thanks, GND, for sharing your travels with us.

  4. Faylin Myhre says:

    I love, love, love that bank!

  5. sara says:

    That is a cool bank. How long has it been closed? In another life, I may have robbed that bank, hauling my tail out of town on the running boards with Ma Barker at the wheel!

  6. Diane Jaeger says:

    I was raised on a farm 5 miles straight East of Bremen, and my Grandfather, Christ Frosaker, a stone mason, built that bank. Have lots of good memories of Bremen, including gopher days, roller skating, card playing etc.

  7. Jeri Holth says:

    I also grew up on the farm straight east of Bremen and I remember my mom (Diane Jaeger) taking me for a pop at the bar when I was a little girl and visiting with Donna Mae and Ray. What a great place with wonderful people!!

  8. JoDee Anderson says:

    I lived in Bremen from 1999-2002! Loved it! While I was there, the post office/grocery store were open as well as the bar. We went back to the bar last summer. Looks like it has changed a bit. It was a nice quiet little town. I had great memories there!

  9. Melanie (Hitz) Darville says:

    Gopher Tail Day – Elevator Picnic Day – Free pop and icecream!! Kids and neighbors everywhere!!! …. Getting the mail – and cream, eggs, and bread – the emergency staples – from Mr. Bower’s Store …… Stopping for a pop at the Bremen Bar in the middle of a long hot summer horseback ride through the gravel pit just west of town…… Riding my horse into the elevator and onto the scale to “get weighed” ….. Summer ball games and meeting friends there…….. Listening to “adventurous” Bremen School (a TWO Room!!) stories from my siblings (before my time! I attended Bremen #1 – a one room – 3 miles south of Bremen – when even the barn was still there!!) …………. Then watching it all slowly disappear every time I returned home ………. Except for the infamous Bremen Bar still standing strong on “Main Street’!! …… I know Bremen, as it used to be, lives on vividly in the minds of those who grew up there and in the surrounding community during a wonderful and truly rich era – before time sped up thrust us into the “modern” ??? age!!!

  10. Leslie Roemmich Unger says:

    Also grew up there and attended school and church there.Remember gopher tail days, elevator picnics. Remember Bowers Store and Ray and Donna May at the bar. Even after being gone for a few years, come back and got married in the Church there. Still enjoy stopping in for a visit when I, get back to ND.

    • Claudia Buechler Deckelmann says:

      Leslie and Melanie I have the same great memories and remember you both. Eric, I used to play with Karen at Olaf and Idella’s place. (your grandparents i think?) We used to use a jump rope and pretend to do Edward R. Murrows TV show Person to Person! Such great memories of that home. Seemed like a mansion in my eyes! Really trying to figure out whose houses these were when I went to Bremen School #3 in town on the hill.

  11. Cindy Helenske Ystaas says:

    I lived 4 miles south of Bremen. We made many many trips there for a few groceries , drinking free pop at Bremen elevator days, softball games. I attended first grade at the school 3 miles south. I think there used to be roller skating at the hall. We use to visit with the Halvorsons, Bowers, Schaefers.

  12. In 1979 I became editor of the weekly Wells County Free Press in Fessenden, N.D. The first story I covered was the annual elevator association meeting in Bremen. I lived in Wells County for almost three years, a beautiful part of North Dakota with lots of great people.

  13. Blain says:

    Now there is a structure that will last another 300 years!

  14. Selena Simpson says:

    I lived a few miles North of Bremen, grew up in the Bremen Church. I remember the elevator and drinking orange soda at the bar (I was 5 then), small town bars are kid friendly when your parents are farmers! I hope you guys can make that trip back there and get some shots of the rest of Bremen! This website and the photos are fantastic. Sad but fantastic!

    Thanks for doing what you do!

    Selena

  15. Audrey Becvar-Mehlhouse says:

    Melanie and all:

    I am so excited to have just found this website! Yes, yes, and YES to all of your comments! How I love to think about those good-ole days too! I was sort of a tomboy that lived life to the fullest. I remember running fast at those ball games at the baseball diamond in Bremen for fowl balls where they started paying 25 cents a ball to return them. Eventually it did drop to 10 cents a ball. That really didn’t matter tho as we would go up to the Bremen store afterwards where I could buy a cold bottle of soda, sunflowers seeds and penny candy with “my very own money”, and still have change left over!

    I have lived about half of my life in ND and half in WI, but my roots still run deep to call ND “HOME”.

    I look forward to hearing from others that have ties to Bremen! Thanks to Troy and Terry for this great website!

  16. Terry Larson says:

    My goodness! What a ‘site’ sight! I lived in Bremen from 1951 to 1960. I went to Bremen school #3. My Mom and Dad, Roger and Lorraine Larson owned Bremen grocery which was next door to Lou Bower’s implement and parts store plus the post office. I often went with Ermie Simms walk down to the railroad tracks to get the mail as it was kicked off the “37″. (By the way, the mail-car of the “37″ now resides in Sacramento Ca. I played with the Alfsted boys, Billy and Dennis in the gravel pits, went ice skating in the slough between Andersons and Roemmick’s. Played ‘Pony-League baseball under Robert Bower’s coaching, and Dad’s coaching. Took piano lessons from Irma Omoth, though my Mom wasted a lot of money on that deal. I was confirmed in the Lutheran churchi n Bremen. Visited Bremen last in ’05, picnic-ed at the school. That slide was really tall. (Now, my cousin tells me, the school building is gone. A corner of the basement had caved in.) I used to collect gopher tails and sold at ‘Gopher-Tail days’. I made 50 cents cleaning up the street after Elevator Days. I bought my first pair of roller skates at Roller Skating night and I still have the skates! Thanks for the memories and I’m sure I will recall more in the next days.

  17. I grew up at Bremen and have many fond memories. It has changed a bit since then though. The school house on the hill is gone, the grocery store is gone, some of the old abandoned houses are gone, the gas station is gone, the Catholic Church a few miles south of Bremen is gone and I am sure more too. Even in the 20+ years since I grew up there things have changed alot. I remember elevator days, and walking to get things at the grocery store. I had an amazing childhood growing up there and wouldn’t change a thing!!

  18. Jayson Helenske says:

    The family farm was 4.5 miles south of Bremen. My dad’s family, especially my grandparents always told wonderful stories of Bremen. I remember the Elevator Day’s at the old school on top of the hill. Free pop, cookout’s, playing with neighbors, and it seemed I wanted to stay throughout the entire day. We used to call Rae O’Connor, Raymond from Braymen. He owned the grocery store, post office and bar after the Bower’s. I used to love driving my Rambler on the diagonal road past the church right up to the grocery store; that road was so neat with the view of the country side and Bremen itself. Sad to say the beautiful St. Joseph’s Catholic Church is now gone. Some hard feelings over that decision within our family. It was a beautiful site. Many memories of weddings, church bazaar’s, services sad and happy. I look forward to finding out what is in the time capsule recovered from the cement pillar of the church.

  19. Staci Roe says:

    Jayson, was the time capsule from the Lutheran church or the Catholic church? That would be neat to find out the contents of it. I remember going to the Lutheran church with my grandparents Jake and Alvina Roemmich back in the 80′s.

  20. Terry Larson says:

    Hi, Karen. I haven’t been to the Train Museum in Sacraments for at least 2 years +/- , but IT WAS THERE and my folks, Roger & Lorraine Larson were through it a couple of years before that. Therefore, I am reasonably sure it is still there. There were even original labels for the towns the train went through. . . including Bremen. I actually was able to tell the ‘museum guide’ how the mail-bag was snagged from the pole (pick-up) and the in-coming mail-bag was kicked out the door, as it passed through town at 75 miles per hour.

  21. Mike Towarnicky says:

    You worked with Charlie Eldridge then!

  22. Dave Arendt says:

    I was born in 1948 in New Rockford ,but our family lived in Bremen until 1951. My dad Norbert ran the grocery for a couple years too, sounds like the grocery business was a revolving door in more ways than one. My father’s oldest brother Francis (Jake) owned the farm just north of town and raised his 3 children there with his wonderful wife Adeline. They were my Godparents . I spent many days happily visiting and working with my uncle Jake and cousin Larry on their farm/ranch. I now live in Sacramento, Ca and have since 1970. I am so glad to have found this site and actually going out to Brementown , hopefully with Larry the day after tomorrow. I am hoping to take photos and will post what I can. I was surprised to hear St Josephs is gone, cemetery still there? Guess I will find out?

    • Terry Larson says:

      Hi, Dave. Have you been to the train museum in Sacramento? I live in Glen Ellen, near Santa Rosa. I do recall the Arendt family and farm. In fact I ‘played’ with Larry many times out at his farm. I recall climbing up into the upper reaches of the barn and jumping into the hay or hanging on this large rope and dropping into the hay. I recall Emily, she was in the next grade, I recall Francis and Adeline, though I don’t recall little sister’s name. My cousin’s place is just across the road from the Arendts. If you seem him wave “Hi” from me. It was sad to hear that the school up on the hill had been burned just a couple of years ago. I was there in 2005 with my grand kids, picnic-ed behind the school – played on the swings and slide. I was taken by how tall that slide was. It was a great visit, reminiscing with (to) my California family. Don’t think I’ll ever get back. Hope you and Larry have fun in Bremen.

Leave A Comment