Pingree, ND

Stutsman County
Inhabited as of 5/12

Pingree is a small town in Stutsman County, northwest of Jamestown.  According to the 2010 Census, Pingree is home to 60 residents.  Pingree was founded in 1881 and reached a peak population of 268 residents in 1920.

We didn’t have plans to visit Pingree, but we saw a few photo opportunities from the highway and decided to stop.  On the day we visited, several local residents were busy towing cars from the townsite.  There is a sizable auto repair/salvage operation in Pingree.

We were thrilled to discover there is an old jail with the cells still intact.

This was our first chance to try out our new, more fuel-efficient ghost town ride. We covered 531 miles in 12 hours and only filled up once.

This church is beautifully well-kept and still in use.

The former Pingree depot and gazebo.

Rat gets a low angle to capture the shot below.

Photos by Troy and Rat, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

32 Responses to “Pingree, ND”
  1. Linda Badin says:

    The old jail & playground is awesome. Looks to be a really well kept little town.

  2. Wendy says:

    Stopped by this town last year. Great shots!
    Keep them coming! =}

  3. Brad says:

    The elevator has not been in business for a long time as I work on the railroad that goes through town. We use the elevator track to store cars now.

  4. Tami says:

    This little town still has a functioning school so in some ways it is higher function than a lot of the other rural ND towns.

  5. Stuart Foster says:

    Lived in this town from 2000 to 2006. We did the mural on the side of the building for the 125 year celebration. My Dad was born there in 1928 and his name is on the veterans memorial plague. Love the pictures, thanks.

    • Sharon Klemm says:

      Stuart: I have a photo of your mural in my ND photobook (yea, the old school real picture type photobook). My mom and I went to ND about 1.5 years ago; wait until I tell her that Pingree was on Ghotst and the guy who painted the mural posted. She absolutely loved your mural. We parked our car in front of it and looked at it a long time. So small a world.

    • M.Ruff says:

      I painted both the Murals on the east and west side of the building. My husband, stepfather, and I also hung hung. I have photographs of myself painting them in our garage before taking them to be hung. Sad to see someone taking credit for something they did not do.

      • Myrna Herold Foster says:

        I’m sure that Stuart did not mean to imply that he painted the murals. “We” was meant to mean the people of the town.

  6. Linda says:

    There is one shot you took, where you had to have been standing near my mailbox!! My parents were both raised in Pingree, but migrated to Seattle, WA at the end of WWII, and that’s where we five kids were born and raised. In 1994, my parents returned to ND, to live out the rest of their days, and bought this house, in Pingree. My mother was diagnosed with cancer, in 1998, so in 1999, my husband and I sold our home, in WA, and moved back here to help care for her. We purchased the house from them, and they moved into Senior Housing, in Carrington. Dad passed away in 2001 and Mom in 2002, so we were very happy to have had the 2 and 3 years with them that we did! We LOVE living in ND, and wouldn’t move back to the rat-race of big-city life for anything!
    PS We live in the yellow house, with the green metal roof, and a ramp coming down from the front porch! Come back again! And next time knock…the coffee is always on!

  7. Sharon Klemm says:

    I love Pingree. In front of the elevator there was a house that I was interested in buying and right before I went there I found out that it burned completely to the ground. I think the address was 306 English Ave. That dashed my plans and in the meantime life happened, and I sort of set ND plans to the side. For the moment. North Dakota is a thought I just can’t shake. I have many of the same images on my camera as Ghosts shows and boy, did this bring back a flood of memories, good ones. Just as a note, the Pingree Cafe, thumbs way up and the people over at Arrrowwood NWR tell me that the rhubarb milkshakes over in McHenry are worth the 160 mr/t. What a great email to receive tonight. Now…how am I gonna get back there sooner than later?

  8. Myrna Foster says:

    This is all very interesting. Thanks for posting, Stuart.

  9. Myrna Foster says:

    What fun photos! Brings back lots of childhood memories! Used to go back and visit every other year as a kid. My dad was born in Pingree and my Grandpa lived there for many years. In fact, at one time my Grandpa was the “jailer”! Thanks for posting these!

    • Kathy Manley says:

      I was from Pingree. Seeing these photos make me sad as I remember this town in a much more glorious time. I was part of the last graduating class in 1982, before the school merged with Buchanan. Thanks for bringing back many fond memories though….The Foster’s spent many good visits at the Manley’s.

    • Myrna Herold Foster says:

      I did not send this. It must have been one of my children.

  10. Verona Foster Franzkeit says:

    I wrote the 2nd comment that says Myrna Foster, my mother. Messed it up somehow! Sorry! Hope you can fix it. Verona Franzkeit

  11. Verona Foster Franzkeit says:

    What fun photos! Brings back lots of childhood memories! Used to go back and visit every other year as a kid. My dad was born in Pingree and my Grandpa lived there for many years. In fact, at one time my Grandpa was the “jailer” Thanks for posting these!

  12. Kelsey says:

    That made me smile. My grandparents still live in Pingree, but they live on a farm. My father and the siblings grew up there, attended school there. And yes, the school is still open which suprises me since it could have been shut down and force them to attend Jamestown schools. I hope the school stays open for very, very long time.

  13. Jim Celius says:

    I live in Tennesse presently, formerly from Grand Forks area, just want to tell you that you are really doing a wonderful job. Thank you so much for the memories.

  14. Bj says:

    Enjoying your Blog about my home state!

    • Myrna Foster says:

      Don’t know how you delete something that is posted twice but will add to it. My husband was born in Pingree and raised in that area. His name is on the veteran’s memorial. His dad lived there for many years and his grandparents before that. My son lived there for a few years. I have visited Pingree many times. We attended the100th year celebration.

      • Linda Snyder says:

        Myrna’s husband was my Uncle, and both his and my Dad’s names are on the Veterans Memorial! We were here for the 125th Year Celebration, in 2005, and it was a BIG hoopla!
        We are actually a “City” with a Mayor and City Council! (My husband was mayor from 2000-2005, then resigned the position, due to issues with his “Day” job!)
        Each year we still celebrate “Heritage Day”, on a Sunday in August! This year it is planned for the 5th of August! We open up the old RR Depot, which houses/displays many donated historical items…it’s actually considered a museum! It all starts with an interdenominational church service at 11AM…Pingree is home to three functioning and well-attended churches…Catholic, Congregational and Lutheran…and all three participate in our annual event! At Noon we serve dinner, for a fee…this year we are planning to have BBQ’d ribs with pulled pork sliders, potato salad and baked beans! Dessert will be purchased separately…homemade ice cream, with all kinds of toppings, and fresh-baked cookies or bars! We have lots of fun activities planned, so please put the date on your calendar, and come join us!

  15. Barb says:

    My dad was born and raised in Pingree, but moved away after World War II. We’d visit occasionally, but I haven’t been since he passed away many years ago. However, I still have his high school letter sweater — black, with the orange P like the logo shown on the bell photo. The shot brought back a lot of memories.

  16. Lori F says:

    After fawning over the photos I had to go and get my family book which tells me that my family arrived in Pingree in 1907 or 1908 (depending on who’s essay you read) and I’ve seen photos from 1912 and 1930 and 1950 of family members who were married there at the Congregational Church. Great Grandma and Grandpa Swearingen are buried there, as were Great Great Grandpa Ratzlaff. Of course other relatives in that line as well, including David Swearingen who died when he was 5, he is buried there, he was my grandmothers brother.
    Great Great Grandpa Ratzlaff was a house painter, McNess products sailesman, school custodian and Justice of the Peace in Pingree. I guess that means he probably used that jail if it is old enough! ha The book also says that their home is now (as of the writing back in the 80s) a senior citizen center, which was built by “Mr. Ratzlaff and Mr. Overton in 1912″.
    Anyway, thank you very much for sharing, so neat to see. Wouldn’t mind spending a year or two there.

  17. Patt Germann says:

    I still have family in Pingree – Faye (McKenzie) and Tony Cumber. I am the daughter of Howard W. McKenzie who grew up at an elevator along the railroad track outside Pingree. My grand-aunt and Uncle were Art and Gertrude McKenzie. I remember “going to the farm” and getting to play in the barn and pumping water with a hand pump in the HUGE house’s kitchen until they got “real” running water. I remember going into Pingree as a child to what was probably a little store of some sort. When I was a senior in high school, our class made a retreat at the Catholic church that was there (1965). Oh, yes, I have memories of Pingree. One time when we lived in Webster SD, a customer came into the restaurant where I worked and I noticed a North Dakota license on their car. I asked where they were from and they said, “Jamestown” to which I replied, “I grew up there.” The lady laughed and said, “then we’ll tell you we’re from Pingree. Only someone from Jamestown would know where that is.” Yes, I do!

  18. Dave D says:

    I’m curious if anyone remembers anything about the power company that used to operate in Pingree before what was then Tri-County Electric Cooperative came to town in the early 1940s? Like many of the other small-town power plants in North Dakota in the early 20th Century, it was DC – all the motors in town had to be replaced before the coop could switch everyone over to the “high line”.

  19. My fiance and I drive through Pingree once a month on our way back from Iowa. We make it a point to visit Charlotte at the little bar right off the highway.

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