Blabon, North Dakota

Blabon: Ten Years Later

In October of 2003, we visited Blabon, North Dakota, a tiny near-ghost town in Steele County with a handful of residents, and it was the first stop on what would become a ten-year exploration of North Dakota’s ghost towns and abandoned places.  Today, we returned to Blabon after ten years to snap some photos and reflect on one of the stories sent to us by a very early fan of our website.

Blabon, North Dakota

We’re not positive, but the home shown above appears to be the oldest, and perhaps the only remaining original structure in Blabon.  The roof has deteriorated considerably over the last decade.

Blabon, North Dakota

We actually have been to Blabon twice before, the last time in 2004.  Since then, the home shown above has been offered for sale on Craigslist several times.  We’re not sure if it ever sold — it is in really poor condition.

Blabon, North Dakota

Storm clouds on the horizon, as seen from the Blabon Cemetery


We noticed a fifth-wheel camper parked nearby which appeared to be lived-in.  There appeared to be a little more life in Blabon than when we last visited.  We didn’t see anybody out and about, but it looks like Blabon might have gained a few residents.

Blabon, North Dakota

This abandoned home stands right next door to the home shown at the top of the page.

Blabon, North Dakota

Shortly after we founded the Ghosts of North Dakota website in early-2004, we received email from a gentleman in Norway named Øyvind Sætrevik whose great grandparents came to America around 1900 for a shot at the American dream.  In a series of emails (which have unfortunately been lost) he told us the story of his great grandparents losing a young child to illness, and eventually they gave up on their American endeavor and returned to Norway, leaving behind their child’s grave in Blabon as the only indication they ever came to America.

We searched the headstones in the cemetery for an obvious match to the circumstances, but nothing seemed obvious.

Blabon, North Dakota

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Blabon, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

5 Responses to “Blabon: Ten Years Later”
  1. AnnMarie Vinge says:

    As a 3rd generation born out of Norway and looking for family head stones. Looking for a child is harder as they usually didn’t get head stones due to money. Many are buried in the same graves as parents or where parents would be put with just red or white brick. If you find a family head stone with a brick in the plot she is probably there if there are any ‘records’ anywhere most likely church books you might find a note in there.

  2. I may be mistaken, but the photo of the first house with the heavily sagging roof may be the one where my family and I lived until moving in 1960 – if this is indeed the one near what used to be the elevator site on the east end of Blabon. Last fall, when I asked my Mother about the house (I remember the inside well) she said it had originally been two granaries that had been adjoined and turned into a house. The gravestone of the baby is that of my first cousin….my father, Colman W. Hanson was a brother to the baby’s mother, Hazel.

    Wow! These pics really turn back the years! :)

  3. Dan Langager says:

    This is really fascinating. My great grandfather (Tolles) was born in Portland and moved to Blabon with his parents (Mandius and Christine). I have been doing a lot of reading about my family and their origins and this was really neat!

  4. Geri Ebertowski says:

    Im just wondering why you dont have Bowesmont listed?

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