North Dakota’s Loneliest Places

North Dakota’s Loneliest Places

A slideshow from Mother Nature Network recently named 12 U.S. places where your visit could double the population — places with a population of one or fewer.

Although they did name Tenney, Minnesota — a place we’ve visited twice for our sister project — they neglected to mention any North Dakota places.  So here we present our own list of North Dakota’s loneliest places.

Hesper, North Dakota
A true ghost town, population zero.

Lincoln Valley, North Dakota
A rapidly crumbling ghost town, no residents.

Merricourt, North Dakota
Population one or two last time we visited.

Straubville, North Dakota
Nobody lives here.

Heaton, North Dakota
Population one.  Brian Miller.

Arena, North Dakota
Population zero.

Hanks, North Dakota
One resident, profiled in National Geographic some years ago.

Stady, North Dakota
Ghost town.  No residents.


Sanish, North Dakota – Under Lake Sakakawea.  We photographed it at low water levels in 2005.

Nanson, North Dakota – Population zero.  Life after people.

Griffin, North Dakota – One farm in the area.

Eastedge, North Dakota – True ghost town, population zero.

Deisem, North Dakota – Only a crumbling church remains of what was once Deisem.

Omemee, North Dakota – Zero population.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota – Another true ghost town.  Foundations and two abandoned homes.

Honorable mentions go to: Corinth (pop. 4), Haley (pop. 3), Lostwood (one farm), Sanger (pop. 2), and Ruso (less than a handful of residents).

Order Ghosts of North Dakota Books

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

20 thoughts on “North Dakota’s Loneliest Places

  1. Have you ever been to Church’s Ferry? It is a more “recent” ghost town. And a very sad demise it had.

    1. Dan, I’d be interested in hearing from you about ghost towns near Minot. I’ve been to most listed on the site in the immediate area, and a couple that aren’t (I have some great pics of Verendrye Cemetery and the school there). But I’m always on the look out for more, and it definitely helps having someone who knows the area.

    2. Forfar, Russell, Stampede and Wolseth are little more than grain elevators. Verendrye’s Falsen school is on the website, and Hartland is on our list of places to visit.

  2. This is very neat! I grew up in a town of 1000 near Grand Forks and it continues to fade away as well … I’m not sure if there will much left of many of the smaller towns in North Dakota before long.

  3. I was wondering are you guys going around to ghost towns that are completely empty or would you accept a few residents?

    1. We visit lots of places that still have residents. The only real prerequisite is that there are abandoned structures to photograph or cool historic things.

  4. Please visit Russell. There is a huge elevator there but also an abandoned school and other buildings/houses. I started school there in 1954. It was a beautiful school. Forfar is just an elevator now. Have you been to Maxbass? Just 13 miles from Russell and just east of Maxbass there was a town which is also just an elevator (not in use) but I can not for the life of me, remember the name. Also, south of Maxbass a few miles there was a town — don’t know if there are any signs of it left. There are so many disappearing towns in that are which is north and east of Minot, west and south of Bottineau.

  5. I nominate Maza, ND. On Route 281 between Church’s Ferry (itself a future ghost town) and Cando. Last time I heard there were 6 people living there but recently several moved. Not a whole lot there other than an old school house listing to port and what I think used to be a post office.

  6. A good friend of mine grew up in Fillmore, ND. When he lefty for college in the late 80’s, that left only two people in town. His mom recently moved to Rugby and she was the last for the “Fillmorians” so I guess it would be a recent ghost town

Leave a Reply to Kolbe Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

eleven + seventeen =