Pelto, ND

By / September 25, 2010 / Pelto, ND

Nelson County
Vacant as of 7/10

Nathan Mastrud contributed these photos of Pelto with the following comments:

Pelto is about 42 miles east of Devils lake.  The only thing that really remains of the town is a Pelto tombstone.
The fields that surround Pelto are slowing filling with water, abandoned farmsites & pelicans.

The information on the tombstone reads:

  • Pelto Merc Store-Closed 1957
  • Enterprise Consolidated School-Consolidated 1915-Closed 1969
  • Pelto Hall
  • Finnish Lutheran Church Established 1899

The road to Pelto is Closed and has water up to the shoulder for most of the trip.
There are only a few skeletons of the foundations buried in deep prairie grass with a couple automobile parts dumped in the swamp.

A single metal milk container remains standing.

CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE

Photos by Nathan Mastrud and Punchgut Studio

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22 Comments

JoAnne Vasichek Simonian

I had not only the privelege of living near Pelto, but went to school there for two years. My Mom, Rosemarie Vasichek was my teacher for one year. Ester Olsen for the other year. My Dad, Joey Vasichek went there for all his school years. I have very fond memories of being part of the history of such a great place. It saddened me when I was home this summer and stood on the spot where the school was. I could hear the voices of children laughing, learning and still can see the blackboards. Such a wonderful place being swallowed by the rising ground water, urbanization of the rural comunities, but not forgotten. Thank God for memories

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Ken

I never knew that you went to school there ! So——- the school closed in about 66 ?? Funny your dad didn’t go to Sauter school?

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Gary Wencl

I too had the privelege of living near Pelto, I grew up on the family farm just East of Brocket. I left that part of the world in 1980 and moved to New Mexico. I still have some family living in assorted places in North Dakota but I don’t visit there very often. I do however follow webites such as this one to catch up on things, and I might add that this is one of my favorite sites to visit. The people that have put this together have done a very good job, thanks. I did go to Sauter school during my school years, then Brocket, then Lokota. I understand that water is taking over a lot of farmland in past few years. Would this be due to the rising and flooding of Devils Lake? My sister lives in Fargo and has been out to the old farmstead, she forwarded some pictures to me showing the water rising at our old place also. I do miss living in North Dakota at times as I have memories that will last a lifetime. I might add,JoAnne I believe that I know you, and as you said in your post, thank God for memeories.

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Travis

My mother grew up on her parents’ farm just right across the road from where the tombstone lies. (Olson was her maiden name) The farmsted is still there (just a barn, a few bins, and a quonset remain standing) I am 25 years old and I continue to be out in that area every once in awhile. I was curious and typed in Pelto ND in google. I wanted ot see what i could find. Very interesting history and i’m glad i still get a chance to be around it.

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Becky R

of all the photos these are probably my favorites so far , Love the lone cream can in the grass , but the Tombstone for the town is so awesome . What a great way to mark whre the town had been , where life once thrived .

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Arrnold Koskela

My parents grew up near Pelto. Mother was Selma Pihlgren, born in 1913. She worked in the Pelto store when she was 14. Dad was Arthur Koskela, born in 1909. Their four kids(me included) were raised in Chicago. Wife and I visited Pelto area a few years ago. I remember the Pihlgren family farm when I was very young and our family visited. Sad to see it all gone. Arnold Kosklela Port Charlotte FL

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Clifton Nelson

My father’s family grew up about 8 miles or so Northeast of Pelto….my Aunt,Hilda Nelson and her husband,Lionel lived south of the school in Pelto and she taught school there in the 50’s…we used to visit on Sundays and Hilda would let us play in the gym downstairs if it was winter or cold outside…I have many memories from that area and era

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Arnold Koskela

Hello Are you related to Roger or Pauline Nelson? I believe their mother was Olga but I am not sure. I recall visiting them when I was maybe 8 or so years old and being in brocket at a store with a soda fountain. I am now 74. Arnold Koskela

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Krista Benjamin

I am looking for information on my great-grandparents Gust and Reeta Kaisa (Maalismaa) Heikkila. Reeta’s father Anders/Andrew died in Pelto in 1908 and I know Gust and Reeta lived in Sauter, Brocket and Lakota (where my grandpa was born in 1910) before moving to Minnesota. Any information is appreciated.

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Arnold Koskela

Sorry but I cannot be of any help. My parents were born near pelto in 1909 and 1913. The names you mention are not familiar to me. Good luck in your search. Arnold Koskela

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Jeanie Vasichek

I remember Pelto as well. Rick Hodek and I were the only ones in our grade at that country school. My favorite was being able to ring the bell for school to start!! I remember the Christmas program, singing, lunch (cold milk from the cooler), playing on the merry-go-round, the badger hole, the outhouse, the creaking wooden floors. Some of the students I remember were David Larson, Keith Olson, the Hodek boys, Corey Nelson, the Olson girls. . . still see Debbie in Grand Forks. I recall the rides to school from Rudy Nelson in his car :-)….My goodness, the years have certainly passed!

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Carrie Pic-Olivo

I have visited Pelto many times as I have an Aunt and Uncle Kyllonen who lived near the town site. Back in the 80’s my Uncle was part of a demolition crew taking down the old elevator. There was a report of a dead body down in the depths of the elevator and the police were called in. The body was just bones at this point but an investigation was launched. Turned out to be a person who passed years before. A John Doe who I never actual knew to have been identified. The best the local authorities could come up with was that in years past hobos would ride the rails and most likely that is where this man came from. Would like to know if that man was ever identified? Considering how long that elevator had been locked up goodness only knows how long he laid at rest there.

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Dane Gillett

my Grandma Nona Patron went to school in Pelto and my great grandparents help found the town my family is the kyllonen.

Dane Gillett

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Don Jallett

I never heard of the place, even in the 60s & I’m nearly 70 now & have been a long time Ramsey Co. Resident. I guess you learn something new everyday.

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Kiersten Johnson

Hi there! My great grandma, great uncles and aunts had a farmstead out near Pelto. They are buried in the Finnish Cemetery. Their names were Hatula (Stina and John born in the 1850s in Finland, their kids Alec, Ida, Herman, John and my great grandmother Lilly Hatula Nelson). Lilly married Oscar Nelson and moved to Lakota where he built her house, and I believe John married Anna and moved to Lakota as well. I have lost track of the rest and they have all passed on. Does anyone remember them? Any help would be appreciated!

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Karen Kyllonen

My parents were John and Lillian (rakettii) Kyllonen. I went to pelto school in the early 50s and remember the pelto store and the elevator. Hilda Nelson was my teacher. I just discovered this and see familiar names in the comments. My grandmother, Mrs. Erick (Mary Murto) Kyllonen went back to Finland. I would like to learn more about her if anyone can help.

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Karen Swanhorst

I vaguely remember Nona. When was she born? I was born in 1944.
Hilda Nelson was my teacher.

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Shirley Johnson

My maiden name was Hanesalo. My family and I lived a few miles south of Pelto and my brother, Gary, and I attended the school for eight years. Hilda Nelson was my teacher all those years and I LOVED her!!! She enabled me to graduate from college because of her wonderful teaching. She was an amazing woman—prepared hot lunch for all her students even though she was so busy teaching all eight grades. Her husband, Lionel, was a wonderful man, too. He kept our school toasty warm throughout the cold ND winter. We called him “Pa”. He assembled a stage for us on which we performed our Christmas program–a lot of work for him. The community attended and it was a wonderful time. I would not trade those years for anything!!!

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Mark Nelson

Hilda and Lionel Nelson were my grandparents. It is so nice to read all of the wonderful comments about them. Thanks for sharing!

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