Olga, North Dakota

Olga, ND

This is Olga, North Dakota, a near-ghost town in northern North Dakota — the oldest settlement in Cavalier County having been established in 1882 as St. Pierre.  Olga once had nearly 100 residents but underwent a slow decline over several decades.  Today, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart church is the most impressive local landmark.  These shots were captured by Terry in 2006.

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Photos by Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

39 Responses to “Olga, ND”
  1. Marne says:

    Beautiful pictures! <3

    • Kathleen Barrish says:

      Wonderful photos…especially the sunflowers.

      Where do live now?

    • Leo says:

      Why didn’t you show some of the “alive pictures”
      THERE ARE 22 people living in this “Ghost town”

      • troylarson says:

        We said it’s a “near-ghost town,” Leo. If you’re offended that we generally post photos of abandoned structures, then this site probably isn’t for you.

      • Leo says:

        I appoligize to the author. I missed 99 percent of this site. It is great. Thanks Troy for the work

        • Leo says:

          I was born in 1932 on the East end of town. Since retiring I have done family history along with oil painting. Several of my paintings of Olga may be seen on Facebook under the Olga site. It was quite a town in its day over 100 population, in !945 when I was in the 8th grade there were 60+ kids in school and 3 nuns as teachers students came for many miles around. It was a public school taught by Catholic nuns from 1918 until 1947. As of 2015 there are 17 living there. Leo

  2. Faye Hoff says:

    I grew up near Olga North Dakota, and my family and many generations….grew up in Olga…we went to church in Olga , it is one of the most beautiful Churches, inside, i have many many memories there, and is so sad to see that Olga is nearly a Ghost Town, have many relatives burried in the cemetery behind the church and my father-in-law made the sign ….do you have a book of North Dakota Ghost Towns that Olga would be in?

    thanks for sharing

  3. alison raheem says:

    So nice to see, my home town. Unfortunately the poor old barn has fallen down. So glad you included Olga.

  4. craig benoit says:

    There’s not meany of us left that can say that we live in Olga but I’m proud to be one of them

  5. dash says:

    I hope someone is around to open the time capsule in 2082!

    • Clif Nelson says:

      We used to snowmobile thru Olga in the mid 90’s,there was a lil’ hole in the wall bar that was hit and miss on being open…I also used to work with a Mudgie Kuff (not sure of the spelling,but that is how it sounded )…Also worked with his son in 1970 for Joe Mayo and Son construction…plus his daughter Carole was married at one time to very good friend of mine with Mayo’s,Vernie…Ithink the one house pictured may be their old house,tell me if that is true,anyone..I grew up in Adams ,N.D,,A lil’ town about 40 miles to soth and a bit west of Olga…Mudgie’s brother Bob worked for Mayo in 1965 as my foreman….long time ago

  6. alison raheem says:

    Clif Nelson, it’s not there house. Mudgie Cuffe was my grandpa. The white house was Annie cuffe’s house.

  7. Bonnie Yates says:

    I have a photo of my mom and her three sisters standing in front of what might have been Lister’s or Sisters Boarding House taken about 1940; my grandmother wrote “Caffe” in the margin under a woman standing behind my mom. I found an Anne Caffe then Cuffe on 1920, 1930, and 1940 censuses for Olga, ND. Would you be willing to look at the photo and see if you could identify the woman named Caffe or recognize the lovely old house they are in front of? Please send your email address to me. Thank you.



    • alison raheem says:

      I’m sorry I did not see this earlier Bonnie. Annie Cuffe was my great grandmother. I would love to see the photo. I have a page on facebook, Olga North Dakota. You could share the photo on it if you don’t mind.

  8. Joel Beyer says:

    I visited Olga one time. Back in 1975 on a very hot July day my cousin married Art Brusseau at the big Catholic church in the tiny town with a couple houses and two bars. I remember the day well. I recently saw my cousin at our grandmothers funeral. i reminded her of the names of all five songs that were sung at the really long mass on that HOT day in Olga. :)

  9. Michele Brusseau Geigle says:

    I grew up in Olga. My dad still lives there. It was the best place to hang out with friends. We use to climb on the church steps and jump off the highest one. We walked throughout the cemetery in the evening and would scare each other. Bike riding, getting treats at the Olga bar, hide and seek, kickball, baseball, volleyball, horseback riding, dances, church celebrations…..we did it all. My parents were married there. I had my first communion, confirmation, wedding, my sons baptism and my moms funeral there. I wish my kids would have experienced Olga like I did. I believe Olga and the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church helped to make me the person I am today. Love my hometown!!!,

  10. Mike Brusseau says:

    I also grew up in Olga with my 4 sisters and brother. I have to agree with my sister Michele on growing up here. Lots of memories with the Beauchamps and Benoits. Would not trade it for anything

  11. Mark Johnson says:

    Thanks for the photos. My mother grew up in nearby Langdon, and her father was Henri (Henry) Pelletier, who was raised on a farm near Olga (his mother was a Beauchamp). We lived on the East Coast, but I remember coming back to Olga in the early 80s (I would have been in Middle School at the time) for a big family reunion with the Beauchamps and Pelletiers – I wonder if that coincided with the Centennial and the burial of the time capsule.

  12. Kat Lucy Riseman says:

    A interesting website. I was pleased to see some pictures of Olga. My family were early settlers in the area. My grandparents are buried in the cemetery. I believe that my grandfather, John Lucy, purchased the bell for the church. I’m interested in getting some of the church records death records. Is the church still active?

  13. Diane F. Smith says:

    My father, Theodore E. (Ted) Didier was born in Olga Aug 3, 1893. There were 6 boys in this family, and he was ‘farmed out’ at about 8 years old to help earn money for his widowed mother. She later married Emil Florentin and had 2 more boys, and died in child birth. My grandmother’s maiden name was Laderoute. I visited the cemetery briefly in 1955 looking for their graves at the church, but couldn’t find them. wish I could go back again. My father moved to Saco, Montana in 1916 and homesteaded, then joined WWI with the group from Olga in ’17. After the war he came back to Mt. and lived here. He died in 1985 at 93 years old. I would love to hear from anyone who might have known of my family. I am 78 yrs. young, and not able to travel anymore due to a disability. thank you for your time. Diane F. Smith

  14. L. Lariviere says:

    Just down the road a few miles to the north and east was a town/village called Beaulieu. I don’t know if any buildings are still standing but at one, it had a store and a school.

  15. Deb Frick says:

    My grandfather was born here. His name was Edward LaRiviere. I believe L Lariviere and I are related. Does anyone else know this family name?

    • Mikaila says:

      in the desktop published book “history of Olga ND & our lady of sacred heart church 1882-1982″ 2nd printing, there are 3 LaRiviere references :
      pg 23 LaRIviere, Antoine …donated $10 in 1922-23 towards construction of l’Eglise N.D. du Sacre Coeur
      pg 24 LaRiviere, Elie …donated $5.00 in 1922-23 towards construction of l’Eglise N.D. du Sacre Coeur
      pg 198-200 : an account originally written 04March1910 in the Walhalla Mountaineer…”Olga Celebrates Louis LarIviere (of Olga) celebrates his 100th birthday 06March1910″ and it mentions that he was born 06Mar1810 in St.Philippe MB, moved to Quebec 1818, 1831 came back west hired by Hudson Bay Co. worked for 23yrs.
      Louis and his wife Mrie Lampert (m.1835) had nine children, six of which were named as Bessie, Louis,Francis,Marguerite,John and Paul, and from grandpa Louis LaRiviere down, over 100 children to the fourth generation. And there is an awesome photo of old Louis with a huge beard!

  16. Mikaila says:

    Hi Diane …. i did not know your family, but if this info is helpful to you…
    In 2009, I went to Olga to look in the cemetery for clues to my family (Senecal), found the grave marker but no one available to answer my questions. Same day, by divine intervention, I was using the washroom at Icelandic state park, when VOILA there by the cashier, on the wall, was a large desktop published book “history of olga ND & our lady sacred heart church 1882-1982″, thick with dust. I immediately bought it.
    What a treasure, my grandmother, and my great grand pere et great grand mere were in there!
    IN THE BOOK there is a large write up (page 154-155) on Jean Baptiste Laderoute Family.
    Do you have this info already?
    “Jean Baptiste and Marguerite St. Arnault Laderoute married at St.Norbert MB Feb 4 1862.
    Lived in St.Boniface MB with their many children , until arrived in Olga in 1885 from St.Norbert MB.
    with their 11 children…. one of them is Minnie, who married Antoine Didier,and hey had several children.
    1903 she was widowed, later married Emil Florentin. Minnie died 1915.
    It mentions Jean Baptiste died 1915 and Marguerite in 1922, and that all are buried in Olga Cemetary.
    There is a photo in the book of Jean Baptiste and Marguerite St.Arnault Laderoute.
    There are no biographies on Didier.
    Hope this helps

    • Thank you for answering. And Yes, I do have the book you mention. One of my uncles had bought the book for all the family members, when it was first published. It is a very nice book. There is mention of the Antione Didier family in it also. Thank you again for your reply.

  17. Deb Frick says:

    Thank you, Mikaila for the information about the desktop book. That is my great grandfather who turned 100 as I do have a type written paper on that.

  18. Ben Self says:

    my mother–colleen joy self was from olga–we visited there almost every year from ohio— some time takin a long bus ride—or the train–and even by car—I do remember the brusseau name as my grand mother was annie cuffe–I remember the town was crowded when they had a dance in the hall right next to gramma’s—still have a lot of pictures from those good times– and that last picture I am sure is my grandmothers

  19. Elizabeth Miron says:

    I found a article in Bismarck Daily Tribune of a unburied infant by a building in Beaulieu, date Of July, 07′ 1897. Dr. Cuffe was charged in the justice court of Cavalier. He was held to the District Court in bond of $700. His wife Annie was a Ashley from England also. The newspaper Bathgate Pink newspaper also ran a article on this. The family had three children buried in the cemetery in Beaulieu. Any info on those?

  20. Anna Dwyer Berardi says:

    My father was stationed at the AFB in the late 1980’s and we rented a home in Olga for two years. My younger sister (Pamela) and I went to school in Walhalla. We relocated to Denver, CO and then onto Orlando, FL, where I still live with my family. I have some of the best memories from our years in ND. In fact, I will be making the trip this summer to visit a lifelong friend I made while living there (leeora Carpenter). I can’t wait to see Olga with grown up eyes and take my girls to this place that brought me hours of exploration as a child. The church was gorgeous on the inside and the people there were so kind.

    • Art Brusseau says:

      Hi Anna, Your dad John and I carpooled to work at the AFB. If you come to Olga look us up, I still live there.

  21. Józef Banasiewicz says:

    W tym kościele (parafii), jak dowiedziałem się ostatnio, pracował jako wikariusz mój krewny ksiądz Witalis Banasiewicz. On był więźniem obozu w Dachau. Przeżył i wyjechał do USA Zmarł w Esmond w 1990 r.

    • Art Brusseau says:

      Hello Jozef,
      I hope we can overcome the language difference so you can contact me. Witalis Banasiewicz was our parish priest in Olga from 1964 to 1968. I still live in Olga. I served Mass as an alter boy for Father Banasiewicz, I know he wrote a book of his experiences in Dachau consentration camp. Was it ever published. Hope to hear from you.

  22. Jason K says:

    What a great website! When I was in college in the early 1990s, I worked for a crop consultant based outside of Gardar and we had growers that we checked fields for throughout central and northern Pembina and Cavalier County. I remember checking fields just to the west of Orr. I especially remember the church, and maybe a bar that was close by? I loved working in this area as the drive up and down the plateau on highway 5 was always spectacular. You don’t get that kind of view everywhere.

    I can also remember the missile silo sites that were near fields I scouted and watching the missile convoys that were traveling at the time.

    Again, great job on the website!

    • Carol Perron says:

      My grandparents Perron and LaCaille were married and started their family in Olga. My father Joe Perron was born there in 1899. Any copies of the Sacred heart book available

      • Art Brusseau says:

        Hi Carol,
        Nice to see your comment. Were your grandparents Charles and Rosanna (LaCaille)? The Perron family has entries in the Olga/Sacred Heart book. The books are very rare and hard to find as they sold out very fast when they were published in 1982. I was born and raised in Olga and still live here. I am always looking for these books at auctions or estate sales etc… I resell them to people that are interested. I do have two for sale now if your interested. Contact me at email artdebbr@utma.com for more details.

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