Larson is a near-ghost town in Burke County, about 38 miles northwest of Kenmare, or sixty miles northeast of Williston. It was established in 1907 and had a peak population of 114 in 1920. Larson, and the nearby town of Columbus, were named for Columbus Larson, an early postmaster. There’s a good-sized concentration of residents with Scandinavian heritage in the area.
US Census Data for Larson
Total Population by Place
1960 – 62
1970 – 35
1980 – 21
2000 – Does Not Appear
2010 – 12 (CDP)
We arrived in Larson at the same time a storm front was moving in which made for some dramatic skies as a backdrop. The former church was the first place that caught our eye. The kicked-in front door told us vandals had already been there.
Can’t you just imagine classic American automobiles coming and going at this old filling station on the corner of Division Avenue and 2nd Street?
Larson was quite sleepy for decades, went through something of a revitalization during the height of the oil boom, then slowed down again as oil prices dropped. We’re told it is still busier than it was before, though (see comments).
The people in this house had the best TV reception in town.
We didn’t know for sure, but this looked like the old Larson school. Can someone confirm?
We’ve been told Murphy’s Fine Food and Spirits was quite the hangout back in the day.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC
Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy