Merricourt is located in south central North Dakota, Dickey County, about twenty minutes from the South Dakota border, and it is a place we’ve visited on a number of occasions. Each time we’ve visited Merricourt, we’ve found the former Soo Line Railroad town hovering near the end, with just one family (and at least one dog) still living in Merricourt. As is the case with so many vanishing towns on the prairie, there are no businesses in town, no industry, and no reason for new residents to settle in Merricourt in any significant number. It won’t be more than a generation or two before Merricourt is a true ghost town.
We were disappointed to find things vandalized and/or falling into disrepair in Merricourt since we visited in 2005. The bank still had glass in its window frames and a locked door when we last visited, but had all its windows smashed and the door kicked-in by the time we took these photos in 2011.
Above: Looking inside the bank, the door from the brick vault was removed at some point in the past.
The community center (above) looked like it might still occasionally be used when we were there in 2005, but it clearly could not be used anymore in 2011. We found the steps crumbling and the basement filled with water.
Above: Looking north along County Road 2, Merricourt’s primary thoroughfare. Traffic is rare.
We’ve never seen another brick grain elevator like the one in Merricourt, but we’re told there’s one in Beach, North Dakota.
See our entire collection of Merricourt-related posts, including a story about a historic police altercation in Merricourt contributed by author Keith Norman.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2017 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