Coteau, ND was founded in 1906 in Burke County, northwest of Minot, just over a dozen miles from the Canadian border. Like many, many other towns on this website, Coteau’s population peaked around 1920, at the apex of the railroad transportation era (and just before the Great Depression) with a population of 150. Coteau was actually on our list of towns to visit in May of 2010, but we ran out of time and passed it by. Boy, did we miss out.
Tom Pence contributed these incredible photos of Coteau with the following comments:
The Methodist Church shut down probably within the last ten years. It was functional when I left in 1993 (so don’t blame me!). There was a community center of some type. I was not familiar with it but there is a stage inside with lots of wooden benches. Pretty rough shape inside as you can see.
“Coteau” is derivative of Coteau du Missouri which is a name for the Missouri River Plateau and also a reference to the line of hills east of the river. The Battle of Grand Coteau, the last battle between Metis Buffalo Hunters and the Dakota Sioux, happened approximately 90 miles southeast of this settlement in 1851.
The former Coteau Public School is now a ruin, and relics of the Coteau Bank are now on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck.
Photos by Tom Pence, Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media
Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy