fredonia2

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia is a small town in Logan county, about 80 miles southeast of Bismarck.  We had not intended to stop in Fredonia, but we saw a few buildings we wanted to photograph, so we made a quick stop.

It is somewhat common for residents of some of the towns featured on this site to take offense when we have “the nerve” to post photos of and/or talk about their town, as if we somehow need permission.  We have encountered several visitors who are clearly offended that we have chosen to feature Fredonia on this website — users who believe we have somehow labeled Fredonia as a “ghost town” by featuring it on this website.  Nothing could be further from the truth and we stand by what we’ve posted here.  This website is not only a chronicle of ghost towns, but individual abandoned places and buildings.  There are several locations which fit that description in Fredonia.

So, to make sure it is quite clear, Fredonia is not a ghost town, and we wouldn’t even classify it as a near-ghost town at this point, although in another decade or two, it may be.  The census data below supports that conclusion.  If we’re wrong and Fredonia begins to grow, we’ll be thrilled.

US Census Data for Fredonia
Total Population by Place

1920 – 296
1930 – 394
1940 – 309
1950 – 268
1960 – 141
1970 – 100
1980 – 82
1990 – 66
2000 – 54
2010 – 46

This church was in really good shape and we’re told it is still used..

Photos by Troy and Rat, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Comments
25 Responses to “Fredonia, ND”
  1. Dave D says:

    I seem to remember reading something about Fredonia in the ’80s – something about it being the last town in ND to get touch-tone phone service?

  2. Dash says:

    This link will take you to a multiview postcard of Fredonian appx 1919 – http://digitalhorizonsonline.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/uw&CISOPTR=3010&CISOBOX=1&REC=2

  3. Delbert Eszlinger says:

    This is one of the neatest little towns left in this area,, You can get the best food, at this little cafe , friendly folks, . there is a nice legion Hall, and a good CO-OP oil company,, with good service.. going bigger is not alwasy the answer,, should have more like it..

  4. Tired Iron says:

    The church is The Nazareth Congregational Church. It is still in use to the best of my knowledge. There is a mural with gilded german text behind the altar. And smaller piece (which my grandfather made) detailing the history of the church on the wall in the basement.

  5. Shirley Meyer says:

    My family was there for the centennial that’s in the picture. I have a sweatshirlt with that saying on it. “Fredonia will shine” My grandfather, Jacob Friederich ran a grocery store, and a gas station. We would visit from Jamestown almost every weekend. Such fond memories.

  6. Rae Jasken says:

    The Nazareth Congregational Church is alive and growing. I know this as fact as my husband is the current pastor. The town itself is also growing; there have been a couple of houses moved into town. As for the Homeplate Cafe, it is the best kept secrete in North Dakota. We have Many people who will drive many miles out of their way to enjoy a good home cooked meal. They also serve a German meal once a week. It angers me to read your web site and see many towns you have catagorized as “Ghost Towns” when they are in fact quaint small towns who will go out of their way to help people.. Many of the so called abandonded structures do belong to people. They hold on to them in hopes to revieve them to their former glory.

    • bill says:

      They are abandone people may work on them but truley are a ghost town!

    • Lenora Ida Quatier says:

      I have a German Confirmation Certificate that was issued to my mother, Martha Sayler, on April 17, 1917, by the Congregational Church, Fredonia, Logan Co. North Dakota. Ted H. Penning, Pastor. Printed in German, I may have the pastor’s name misspelled. It’s hard to read his signature. I’m wondering if this building existed on that date or if this is a newer building?

      • Lee Hiller says:

        From the Fredonia Golden Jubilee book (1954), This is the second Congregational Church and was built in 1929. The first Congregational Church was built in 1906 and was sold and moved to Lehr, ND. Both were built on the same lot.

  7. Al Felton says:

    Having been born and raised in a Near “ghost town” in North Dakota I have been trying to imagine the resources and effort it took for such a small town to build a beautiful structure like this church in Fredonia. The attention to detail and the obvious upkeep is a testament to the commitment those original residents had to their heritages and religions. Congratulations for keeping your little town beautiful.

  8. Thure Johnson says:

    My Mother lived in Fredonia and her early teens which would make it about 1910 1915 I’d guess not sure, my grandfather homesteaded a place there but lost it due to fire.

  9. I pretty much grew up on Fredonia. I knew the people who lived in those houses, went to my grandpa’s funeral in that church, remember the silver and golden jubilee celebrations. The best years of my life were spent there. Thanks for the memories.

  10. Vernon says:

    There was once a school in Fredonia. In the mid 40′s my sister, Florence Blessing, was a teacher there. There were enough children to justify 2 teachers. At one time they even had a Christmas program there. A few years ago we passed by there while driving to Wishek and noticed that Fredonia was still there.

  11. Dennis Stillings says:

    Fredonians are not without a sense of humor. A few years ago, as I was coming up on Fredonia from the north, a sign by the side of the road read: “Fredonia—next 3 exits.”

  12. Clayton Buerkle says:

    My great grandfather, Martin Burkle, emigrated to this area in 1893-4 and had a farm a short distance East of Fredonia. He was one of the founders of the first church and his name is listed first in its old roster. He was likely there for the new church also, dedicated in 1931. There was quite a crowd there at the time. Then my grandfather and his siblings grew up there. Thanks for the photos.

    • Cierra Aamodt says:

      Who is you grandfather? My grandfather is Elroy Buerkle. I remember visiting the Buerkle farm looking in the old sod farm house and the barn during the centennial and recently visited it again in August during my grandpa Elroy Buerkle’s funeral.

  13. kacey burkle says:

    i want to start off by saying i love this site. looking at these towns bring back a flood of memories. I do have to say though, no matter what anybody says the people that have grown up here in the great old town of Fredonia, will defend this town like no other. We love this place and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m proud to say i was born and raised in this town and i love every minute of it.

  14. Valerie Sukut Knoll says:

    I spent many weekends in this small little town when I was growing up~~my grandma and my uncle lived there for years. Fond memories of running down the dirt streets and listening to the folks speak german to one another.

  15. Sierra Hillius says:

    That church is right across the street from my aunt Wanda’s house!! My dad Ray and Randy Schlecht shingled and took the bell down, and repaired the bell tower. My aunt helped them! This is epic! Saving this wonderful building! :)

  16. Jo Engelbretson Hollan says:

    I moved to Fredonia in the mid 50′s when my father was hired to run the Farmers Elev. My mom taught school in the 2 teacher elementary school and as a high school student I went to school in Kulm. Fredonia was a vibrant little town then. All of the amenities needed. Grocery store, bank, hotel, restaurant, bar, gas stations, 2 churches. Dances and rollerskating in the Legion Hall and main street full of cars on Saturday night. Some good memories.

  17. Clayton Otterstetter says:

    My grandfather, Gottfried Dittus, and grandmother, Clara (Findel) Dittus, had a homestead farm southeast of Fredonia. My mother, Alvina (Dittus) Otterstetter, went to the Congregational Church during the thirties and forties, where she was baptized and confirmed. The church documents are in German. I have enjoyed a meal in the Home Plate Café and can honestly say that I have not eaten a better meal in any other restaurant.

  18. Jon Ammon says:

    My mother was born in Fredonia, and My grandfather, John J. Meidinger, owned a general store in Fredonia until the late 1920′s when it burned down and he later moved to Alfred and then Wishek. My uncle used to be the town cowhand. He had to gather up the peoples cows in the mornings before school and take them to the village pasture and then get them after school for evening milking.

  19. Karen (Hahne) Frink says:

    My parents use to own the now “Third Base” formerly “Bob’s Bar”! My parents built-on the side of the main building which is now “Third Base”. Although I did not grow up there because they moved there in 1975, you will not find a better community where people will give you a home cooked meal and the shirt off their backs with no questions asked! My husband and I had our wedding reception and dance at the Legion Hall! Many fun memories of Fredonia and always visit when we get back to North Dakota!

  20. Jennifer Babcock says:

    Hi John
    My grandmothers maiden name is Meidinger. Her first name was Joyce. She is also from Fredonia.

    Any relation?

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