McGregor, ND

By / May 23, 2010 / McGregor, ND

The McGregor town site was established in 1910 and assumed the name of a nearby rural post office which had been established five years earlier. We visited McGregor, in Williams County about 45 miles northeast of Williston, in 2010 and we were somewhat surprised by the large number of vacant buildings.

McGregor, North Dakota

Although McGregor does not appear in the Census records (it’s an unincorporated community) a population of 250 was reported for 1920. We would roughly estimate the population at around 20 on the day we visited, but McGregor is more active today due to its oil patch location.

McGregor, North Dakota

During our visit we could see birds going in and out through the hole in the roof of the school.

McGregor, North Dakota

A sleepy Saturday in McGregor.

McGregor, North Dakota

McGregor is not far from several other places we’ve photographed — Bethel Lutheran rural Wildrose, Hamlet, and Appam.

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The relic of something long gone.

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

About Author

Troy Larson

Troy Larson is a father, husband, author, photographer, publisher and devoted cat person. Troy is the President of Sonic Tremor Media and co-founder of GhostsofNorthDakota.com

30 Comments

Robert Williams

I look forward to each album, and the photos bring back memories from 1966 when I went through these towns. You guys are GREAT!

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Susan Imsland

I am so glad to see this site. For such a main stream community in its day. There is hardly anything left. In fact many of the buildings that are shown in these pictures are gone now. the railroad tracks were removed a few years ago. Just think a place that used to have 2 banks. I know of at least one cafe. A hardware store. A grocery stored and many other things Is now almost a ghost town. We lost the elevators just not too long ago. I do have a few pictures of them at sun rise that I am so glad I did get. I have lived in this small township for almost 24 years. I would love to learn as much about it’s history as I can.

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Deb Wagner

I spent a lot of time in my youth at McGregor as my grandma lived there. Haven’t been up there for years, but they will be celebrating there 100th this year in August. Thanks for sharing these pictures. it brings back may memories…:)

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Gail Halgrimson Haakenson

I grew up in McGregor in the 50’s and 60’s. When I view these pictures, I see the buildings as they were then, and not in the sad way they look now. I loved growing up in a small town–you knew everyone and everyone more or less looked out for you. We–husband Gary and our four children– lived in McGregor for a couple of years, they loved the freedom and the quiet after living in Bismarck. Thank you stopping in McGregor on your adventure across North Dakota–Your pictures are wonderful! Our Centennial Celebration is Aug. 6,7 and 8.
Everyone is invited!!

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Deb Wagner

Gail – I forwarded on your comments to my mom – Sophie (Wold) Fuhrman and she told me your sister was in her class. She also told me that your dad was one of the guys who ran the grocery store that I just loved to go to when I was little. Always thought that was the neatest store. Had everything you could ever need…:) She said she spent a lot of time in the Winter at your house. It’s a small world. We are hoping to get up there for the celebration this year. Mom is on email, if you are interested in contacting her I know she would get a kick out of it. Just shoot me and email at debf@drtel.net.

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Ann Wahlstrom

My dad grew up in McGregor and I spent many a happy summer there visiting my grandparents, Bub and Sena Barden. There used to be an old abandoned 50’s car parked behind the old school with a “For Sale” sign in the window . . . I tried several times to get my dad to buy it for me and fix it up, but he never gave in. I love seeing the old school building, though. I visited with my family last summer and while it was sad to see how run down things looked, I still love it. Thank you for including McGregor in your travels!

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Pat Loomis Handrahan

Oh my gosh, I was born I and raisedd at mcgregor and being 82 years young you will know how long ago that was.
It is so darn sad to look at all the buildings in total death. The old school has done great things to stand this long. I am not sure just how old the building is. I would have really like to attend the Centennial in August but as that is not possilbe will be thinking of all of you at that time.

I see good old Erwin Hanson in the winter but there are not many of us my age left. Had a photo and letter from Marcella Rolaff and do hear from Jewell whom we all know every so often. I wrote Mary Ellen but not heard from her so hope she is doing fine.

once again, think of you all and all the very best to you and have a wonderful Centennial

pat

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Melanie Berg Klatt

My mom, Darla Shaw grew up in McGregor, I spent many summers there visiting my grandparents, Alyce and Martin Sathre. For my sisters and I it was the best part of summer vacation. Growing up in the burbs of Minneapolis. The freedom of McGregor was like heaven for us. Thank you for posting these pictures of my favorite place on earth…

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Nolan L Grubb

My Aunt, Donna Grubb Van Berkom, lived here for a few years and some of my cousins lived here. They later moved to a small town West of McGregor. I grew up a few miles East in Powers Lake, ND.

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Joyce

Does anyone know who owns the buildings in McGregor, my husband and I would be interested in buying something to fix up to live in. Thank you

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Laurie Enget Richard

My dad grew up on a farm in McGregor and went to school there. We have relatives all over and know lots of people there. Also, my husband, 18 year old daughter and myself used to go camping at mcgregor dam often. Nice quiet little place for a little one to run and fish and stuff…lol thanks for posting pics.

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Brian

“McGregor strangely does not appear in the Census records we’ve seen.”

McGregor records can be found with the records for Sauk Valley

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Bruce Lovdahl (McGregor high class of 1964)

I agree! Buildings are being torn down and new ones are coming up. The town is more energetic now than its been for years.

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Warren Schooler

The pictures brought a lot of great memories back.And some not so good. We lost our home and a little Brother to a house fire.

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Mike

I’m living in a house in McGregor that once was a bank. I think it was robbed as the vault door was damaged.

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Edy T Johnson

I remember the McGregor school which I attended my sophomore year, and I recognize the names Darla Shaw, Sophie Wold and Gail Halgrimson. My parents were teachers there, too. I have only a vague idea where our house was in relation to the school. I wonder if it is still standing. Thanks for the photos!

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Mary Ellen McGregor

Hello Patsy,
My step-mom, Mary Ellen Ballard McGregor has spoken of you often. She would love to hear from you. She is living in Hanalei, Hawaii. I am living with her. She has spoken of her friend Patsy, so often. fondly,
Suzie

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Amanda Watkins

We stayed about 20 miles NW of McGregor with acquaintances (live long, 3rd generation settlers of the area) a couple of summer ago. It’s a beautiful place, that beauty being marred by the current oil boom.
I spent the better part of two weeks that summer exploring the forgotten & abandoned places of this area. It is a treasure chest of them.
I have many photos of the same sites shared here, although when we were there, part of the S & A Foods storefront had blown down, revealing much older lettering forming the words General Mercantile.. a fascinating view of layers.
A small sampling of my photographic tour of this area can be seen here: http://ourfunwithfive.blogspot.com/2013/01/northwest-north-dakota-prairie-pothole.html

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Joan Tofte

my mother and family grew up in McGregor and some still live there to this day – many memories of that little town visiting my grandmother ( Mary Roloff) – was just in the church not to long ago!!! And remember all of these buildings, nice to see!!!

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Deb Maruska

Thanks for the beautiful pictures. My mom grew up in Mcgregor. Ardella (Halgrimson) Miller. Her mom & dad were Oscar & Esther Halgrimson. Moms siblings were Jewel and Ellis Owen. Grampa owned the grocery store and the implement. I rememger going into the impemement and finding grampa and friends playing cribbage in the back room. Jewel later moved back to Mcgregor and turned the implement into ‘Now and Then Collectibles’. Grampa later sold the store to his brother Joe Halgrimson. I believe Gail would be a cousin to me. How fun to see the pictures read about this town I have many fond memories of.

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Edy T Johnson

Hi Gail! What a delight to see your name, here! I spent our sophomore year of high school in McGregor (Edy Thompson, then) and am reminded of fond memories of you and other classmates. Are you on Facebook, by any chance? If so, you can find me there under above name.

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Chuck McDonald

My wife and I taught in McGregor High during the 62-63 school year. We remember fondly many of the students there. Lived in Halgrimson’s basement apartment and shopped at their store. Good memories.

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