Larson, ND

Burke County
Inhabited as of 5/10

Larson is a near-ghost town in northwestern North Dakota. It was established in 1907 and had a peak population of 114 in 1920.

We arrived in Larson at the same time a storm front was moving in, and it made for some great photos.

US Census Data for Larson
Total Population by Place

1960 – 62
1970 – 35
1980 – 21
2000 – Does Not Appear
2010 - 12 (CDP)


Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

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Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Larson, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Rat, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

39 Responses to “Larson, ND”
  1. Greg says:

    The pictures are awesome!! Love the history and seeing these buildings still standing untouched! Hope they stay that way?

  2. Arlene Ronholdt Kensok says:

    So enjoyed all of these photos. I grew up on a farm south of Larson so remember all of these places, along with a few others that are now gone or not pictured. There used to be a train depot where farmers brought their cream so the train could bring it to Crosby to the Creamery. Don’t know if the grain elevator is still there or the old hotel/store/post office turned home. Murphy’s was the Border Triangle Club for most of its existence-quite a good steakhouse in its day!! Thank you so much for all of these – has been great fun looking at all of these ghost towns!

  3. Eugene Brumfield says:

    Oh mannn, for the good times at the Larson dances in the 40’s and early 50’s when I lived at Kincaid, 5 miles east of Larson. The foot stomping music, smoke filled room, beer hall adjoining, pretty girls, ( I could name many), I still remember alot of names, haha. Then to Lignite, and Portal, on same night, and gadzooks, would run into dad and mother at Portal, they were with friends. Had to dance with my mother , lol. Roller skating at Lignite, clamp-on skates, haha funnn

    Aaaaahh yes, the good ole years.

    Eugene Brumfield
    Kennewick, WA

    • troy johnson says:

      Hello Eugene, my name is Troy Johnson, I’m looking for old pictures of kinkaid? I was wondering if you had any of the town? You may know my uncle Bruce Thompson, he stills lives near there. my email address is thanks

  4. Tavernpark says:

    The Border Triangle Club actually advertised on the television station out of Yorkton, SK. (Usually, only around Christmas). I worked at the station and remember accompanying one of our news videographers who was sent to that club to get a couple of shots for their quickie 10 second TV spots. We were in the Estevan area shooting a news story earlier that day, as I recall. As far as I know, those spots were only seen by viewers along the border thanks to the southern feed to our Carlyle, SK repeater tower. I think we actually had a quick beer at the club with the station’s sales person for that territory before beginning the long drive back to Yorkton. That would have been in the very early ’90’s. .

  5. Mark says:

    Anyone know who owns those PBR sign’s on the old bar?

  6. Faylin Myhre says:

    Great Post! I so want to visit Larson now! Love the church….I think there is a photo road trip in my future!

  7. Lorri says:

    Awesome photos – I can see a future road trip soon as summer gets here!

  8. Norris Anderson says:

    I lived right behind the gas station and went to the one room school house my first 6 grades also went to lots of dances at the bar.

  9. Vern Jacobson says:

    Tavernpark……I grew up on a farm near Crosby, Nd. After crossing the border,I recall seeing chimenys sticking out of the prairie. (They were on the east side of the road.) There were no buildings atached to or nearby. These trips were made in the early 1950’s….before the power station was built south of Estevan. A few miles noth of the chimeys, we would pass the old WW11 airport on the west side of the road.

    The question I have: did you ever see these chimenys? Where would one find more information about them?

    Thanks for your help.


  10. My name is Delores (Holte) Thompson..I grew up in Larson and remember well when it was a booming little town. On Friday nights especially. A lot of my friends and family went to dances there. Lots of times friends would stay over at our house if they missed a ride home…Mom always said she would count the shoes by the door every Saturday morning to see how many guests she had sleeping over. Those were good clean memories to have. Personally I think it is a historical little town that should be rebuilt. It does appear to be a ghost town but there are people living there to this day. We spend our summers in the area.

    • mary dildine says:

      You must know the Sandberg family. My uncle was Harold Sandberg. My grandma was myrtle her son Gary Ellinger is my father. We visit the farm every summer. My dad bought the farm when my uncle Harold died.

      • Yes, I remember the Sandberg farmstead. I seem to recall going to Ladies Aid with my Mom at Harold Sandbergs…….We lived just south of the So. St. Olaf church until I was 9 years old. My parents than bought a house in Larson and moved the family into town …my Mom still has her house in Larson………..We will be visiting South St. Olaf church this weekend to put flowers out for Memorial Day. We have a lot of history there………In fact our daughter was married at So. St. Olaf church back in 1997. We had quite a job getting it ready for a wedding, but it was beautiful.

      • Eric Sandberg says:

        Hi I am also a great nephew of Harold. My father is Dennis Sandberg. I learned to hunt, shoot, & ride motorcycles on that farm. Such a great place!

    • Karen Nguyen says:

      Hi, I knew a family named Johnson’s that lived in Larson. Ole and Myrtle Johnson. I dated there son Ron for a couple years. His mom played the organ at that little church. Do you know if they are still around the area? There was also 2 girls, Julie and GloriAnn. The last time I was there in the late 70’s the population was 24. Its kind of sad to see it getting so run down. I hope like someone else mentions, that the oil and rebuilding boom will keep Larson alive and thriving!!!

      • Delores (Holte) Thompson says:

        Yes, I knew the Johnson family. I believe Gloriann is in the Bismarck/Mandan area. Not sure about the rest of the siblings.

      • Karen Nguyen says:

        Hi Delores, Wow!! Thank you so much for your reply! I am happy to hear about GloriAnn. I have searched on Facebook for them but have not had any luck finding any of them. Do you know if Myrtle and Ole are still alive?….., just curious. I have some pictures of Ron and I standing in the little church and his mom (Myrtle) playing the organ and I have one of the school play ground with the play equipment still there. They would be from 1978-79. Have a great day!!!

  11. Clint Willcott says:

    I remember hanging out at Murphys those days were so relaxing wating the fist super bowel. I wish I could go back to those days. Murphs was the place to be.

  12. darrell steffensen says:

    darrell steffensen says: i was raised in columbus and crosby later, but on sundays we always went to larsen to visit our uncles and aunts (clarence and alpha tweet), gundersonsi i believe the 7 th picture is their house, i could be wrong, mom (irma tweet) who recently passed, was born and reared i believe about 4 miles southwest of larsen,grandpa and grandma tweet {theodore and anna tweet} raised a big family there, we also used to go there to pick potatoes for a farmer that was in the northwest corner of town, used to make about $ 2 to $ 2.50 for the day sometimes less and would go spend it all at hundsteads store in columbus on candie, of course candie was only about 2 cents to 5 cents a candie bar, great memories, everytime i come home i have to make one swing throughj larsen

  13. mary dildine says:

    my great grandparents are from this area. they were one of the founders of columbus. Mathias & Bertha Sandberg. they build the south saint olaf church. Something always pulls me back here. I love the atmosphere, the emptiness, the serene feeling I get every time I come. We stay at the original homestead every summer.

  14. jami says:

    Hi my name is Jami and I moved to Larson in 2011 sounds like this will not be a ghost town anylonger with the oil boom there is a man camp comming to town with four hundered rooms crazy not the place we thought we were moving too.

  15. Donna says:

    Man Camp…that’s not good. Loved the pictures!

  16. Joyce says:

    My husband and I had our wedding reception at Murphy`s in 1995. What a great place to dine, wonderful food, and great people.

  17. Bruce Kleppen says:

    Love the his and hers outhouse!

  18. frescab2 says:

    My name is Joann Suelzle Forry Bourget. I was raised in Crosby 1943 to 1957 when I graduated from Crosby High School. We drove to Larson every Sunday for several years to the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod until my family and several others started a Church in Crosby. And the dances. What memories I have of them. I was not allowed to go to the public dances at Larson but managed to sneak off one Sat night or two during my senior year of high school. What an adventure that was for me, the young girl who had to be home by 11:00 p.m. and 99.9 percent of the time was, except for those couple of times I was brave enough to go to “the public dances” at Larson. It was so much fun. Walzes, two-step, jidder bug, polka. I also remember going to a dance in Portal, which is northesst of Larson, where we crossed over the border to Estevan, Canada for school picnics. Thanks You for the memories.

  19. JoAnne Burau Colebank says:

    I grew up 6 miles south and 1 mile west of Larson and my aunt & uncle (Gerdiius & Myron Watterud) owned and operated the bar/steakhouse(Border Triangle Club) there for many years in the late 60s through the 80s. My parents, along with MANY others from a wide area, danced there most weekends! It was a busy place back in those days. I also attended school there in first grade where my cousin and I were the only 2 first graders and our aunt, Loretta Marston, was the teacher. 8 grades in one room! The next year they consolidated the schools into Columbus. Our farm was just down the hill from the Harold Sandberg farm mentioned above and Gary Ellinger also bought our farmstead along with the Sandberg place. So many good memories – wonderful place to grow up!!

  20. I was born in Crosby lived my early years on my Grandfather’s homestead South of Noonan. I was living outside Columbus with my Grandparents Emma and Gust Auran in Sept. 1953, that year, for 1st grade, I attended the school in Larson where my Grandmother was the teacher. There were 3 of us in 1st grade and at least one student in each of the 8 grades. At Christmas time we 3 were shepherds in the Nativity play. I have a picture of the Nativity tableau and pictures of the school playground and out buildings in summer 1969, during my honeymoon trip to introduce my husband to relatives. I believe it had just closed, the buildings were in very good condition at that time. I remember walking to the house by the railroad station once a week after school for piano lessons. I spent my 2nd grade year in Noonan, and then we moved to Denver Colorado.

  21. james says:

    I used to own the old hotel/store/post office turned home. didn’t see a photo of it though.

  22. Diane F. Smith says:

    It’s really sad to think that the ‘Mancamp” for the Bakken will be coming to this nice little town. It will probably be ravaged and tore down for a bunch of dope ridden people that follow that line of work.
    If I live there, I would move away quickly.were

  23. Arlene (Johnson) Bliss says:

    Hi. I am Arlene Johnson Bliss (nickname: Rusty) I grew up on a farm south of Noonan, ND. Those Friday night dances in Larson was our biggest and best entertainment!! How I miss those dances and would love to go to one again. Life was singing, playing or dancing to the most wonderful music ever!! Miss that, too!!

  24. John Thompson says:

    Does anyone remember a John Thompson from Columbus that probably frequented Murphy’s (the Border Triangle Club) in the 1940s? He was my father, and a good looking guy, had a way with the ladies it seems and liked to have a good time. I didn’t know him well so I always like to hear things about him.

  25. connie hickman sandberg says:

    My grandparents, Bertha and Mathius Sandberg, were homesteaders in the Larson area. They built a lovely big farmhouse south of Larson, and I spent many wonderful summers there with my cousins from Detroit. They and several of my aunts and uncles are buried at South Saint Olaf church. One of the most beautiful places in the world. My German grandparents, Edward and Emma Dahlke, lived at Kermit, ND,. and belonged to the Missouri Lutheran Church in Larson. My, grandfather used to ride his horse to services in the middle of winter. I was baptized in that church. I lived in Noonan, and most Friday nights my high school girlfriends and I would go to the dance in Larson. I can’t believe our parents allowed it, but it was just the thing to do.

  26. Larry Tessmer says:

    i grew up in the MDU camp 5 miles south of Columbus. My family went to church in Larson and I was confirmed there with Janice And Gary Bureau and Merdith Dalke in aprox. 1957. Also many memories of Larson. One of the most entrenched is the time my brother,Dennis and I rode our bikes to Larson to spend time with my friend Clayton Holte. He was just starting to learn to drive and was showing me how he could back his grandfathers big car up and in the process he bumped my brother knocking him to the ground and running over him. Very scary. Lucky no serious injury but did not fess up to mom about the bruses for many years. I never made the dances there but did enjoy the good steaks but out at the resturant where my mom was a cook for a short period of time

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