Antler, North Dakota

Antler 2013

We’ve wanted to visit Antler for several years but it never quite fit into our travel plans until 4th of July weekend, 2013.  Antler is a very small town in Bottineau County, just two miles from the Canadian border.  The 2010 Census pinpoints Antler’s population at 27, although local residents claim a population of 35.  Local residents have fought valiantly at times to keep the population figure from dwindling, including an effort by two local residents in the 1980s to give away free land to families who would agree to move to Antler.  It worked in the short-term, with 6 families receiving land.

Antler has a rich and colorful history as a former Port of Entry, not to mention one-time World Record Holder for the World’s Largest Quilt.  Tiny Tim once performed at the Antler Public School during a tour to support small schools.  There is a fascinating website dedicated to Antler and it’s rich history at AntlerND.com — a word of caution however, you will get lost in that site for hours.

We stopped for a beer at the I Have No Idea Bar & Grill (also known as The Cabin) while we were there… not the friendliest place to outlanders like ourselves, but they had good cold beer and the prices were reasonable.  You can see their Facebook page here.

Vince Azzarello sent in a photo gallery of Antler in 2012 which you can see here.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

This is the former Custom House for international travelers.
It has also functioned as the Bank, Post Office, and Telephone Office.

Antler, North Dakota

Order the Book

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

This was also a bank, older than the Bank/Custom House in the center of the town square.
The AntlerND.com site has photos of this building when it was still surrounded by other structures.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

On the left, the former firehouse and jail.
On the right, the International Order of Odd Fellows hall.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

This school was built in 1907. Hidden in the trees on the left, a quonset hut gymnasium built in 1949.
On the right, a modern addition with extra classroom space, built in 1964.

Antler, North Dakota

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Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

The Antler school closed in 1976.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC
Writers/Bloggers: Ghosts of North Dakota intellectual property and photo use guidelines can be found here.


Comments
9 Responses to “Antler 2013”
  1. Vince says:

    Glad you guys were able to make it up to Antler! Wish I had the kind of camera you guys have, the pics look amazing! My favorite small town in ND.

  2. Wayne says:

    Thanks for the pictures. My wife’s father was born and raised in Antler. She is a part owner with her siblings and cousins of the Carlson Border Farm located on the Canadian Border as the name suggests. Shortly before my Father-in Laws death we visited the farm and his mother’s grave in the Antler Cemetery. We have an amazing wide angle picture of my wife and her father looking over the property. It is truly an intriguing “ghost town”, one that could be used as a set for and Old West movie. Thanks again.

  3. Theresa says:

    I thought the school closed in the early 1980′s, not 1976…. I believe it was 1984 or 85.

    • Carol Lundemo says:

      An excerpt from http://www.Antlernd.com: “In 1907 a contract to build a brick, four room school went to Jas. Finnin of Devils Lake for $7,219.03 without a heating plant. The school was ready for use by late 1907.” Several additions were added on throughout the years, including a gymnasium in 1949-50, and a “science room, a commerce room, a library, a dining room, a well-equipped kitchen and an office” in 1964. This was the last addition to the school. High school classes were held in the new addition until 1976. Then, the grade children in kindergarten through sixth grade used the new addition until the closing of the entire school in 1987. That is the same year the school district was dissolved. “The older school is now occupied by the Antler Historical Society as a museum. The newer addition, at present, is owned by the City of Antler”. That was printed in 1989.

      I just copied that from the Antler, 2012 picture captions.

      • Theresa says:

        Thanks ;) I just see the picture caption saying “The antler school closed in 1976.” Thanks for the information!

  4. Jon says:

    I have a children’s book called “The Night Before the Night Before Christmas,” illustrated by Vern Skaug of Minot, which is the reason I have the book, about Santa’s crash landing and short stay in Antler while he was on a practice run a few days before Christmas in 1906. It has a drawing of the town as it existed at that time. I was fascinated with the story enough to visit the town during one of my last return trips to Minot. Now, I am intrigued by the “Santa” signs in the pictures above. Coincidence?

  5. Jon says:

    I may have misspoke. Couldn’t find “The Night Before the Night Before Christmas” in an online search, but found “The Three Hundred & Sixty Five Days of Christmas” mentioned with this story line. My book is somewhere in a storage box and I was working off an apparently faulty memory.

  6. Jane says:

    I was just in Antler ND today . Never had been there and I drove a friend there to see her friend. Very clean looking town. And all the people waved!!

  7. Elaine says:

    I believe the book you are talking about Jon was “The 365 Days of Christmas”, which was published in 1987 by R. Smith Kiliper and illustrated by Vern Skaug. It was published by the Antler Press, Inc. of Antler, ND. I believe the building with the Santa Bank sign on was a building that Kiliper was trying to refurbish and tried to start a bank there. It is a very friendly town and a fun area to explore.

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