Thank you to James Johnson for contributing these photos of Gardena. James’ comments: Founded in 1905, Gardena is 10 miles south of Bottineau, and the population was 38 at the 2000 census including 13 households and 7 families. It was once big enough to contest Bottineau for the county seat, but lost the bid. The business community steadily declined until the last business, Ackley’s Corner Store, closed in 1994.
With 30 to 35 individuals still living in the town, Gardena has quite some abandoned houses and buildings. The most interesting abandoned building is the Gardena Town Hall which was used for town meetings, dances, card games, parties, school plays, basketball practices, and, even, basketball games. Uncle Mike Hahn remembered playing basketball games in the building when he of school age in 1950s. Fans would sit on the sides, stage and in lofts. The building closed when the Gardena school closed in 1980. My cousin, Krystal (Hahn) Anderson recalled borrowing key from Mayor Dale Ackley to shoot basketball and for scrimmages. The building closed for good when the floor became unstable.
The Corner Store started as Hahns Store which sold groceries and variety stuff. It closed in the 1950s. Ackley’s Corner Store was the last business serving the community by selling gas and snacks. It had Post Office. It was a coffee hang out. The Ackley’s closed in June 1994. Currently, it apparently is used by the owner that service small engines.
Lutheran Church closed in July 2006 in conjunction with the city’s 100-year celebration.
Photos by James Johnson. Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media