Lincoln Valley, Opp house

Ten Years of Ghosts of North Dakota celebrates its 10th birthday as a website in the spring of 2014, and boy how things have changed!  We could never have imagined it would come this far, considering our humble beginnings.  Here’s your evidence… a screenshot, the first archive snapshot ever taken of our site as it appeared on May 28th, 2004 (click to enlarge):

GND 2004 Screenshot

Wow! Look at that basic webpage!  Kids in grade school are writing better website code these days. Excuse me for tooting my own horn, but I did teach myself to write html code by hand in order to build that website.  I could have done better than the cheesy Agathon “This alone is denied to God…” quote as a tagline for a website though.  And what the heck was I doing with the moon theme? We didn’t photograph at night, we didn’t have anything to do with ghosts… it’s no wonder some people got the wrong impression.

The site went through a couple of redesigns in the subsequent years, but it wasn’t until 2006 that the site became visually familiar to the site you see today.  The Opp House in Lincoln Valley as our icon, the Pristina font, white on a black background.

Little did we know in those years that it would lead to book projects, t-shirts, a website for Minnesota places, and an incredibly enthusiastic social media following that humbles us to this day.

This might be a good place to say publicly that the most important change this site has undergone in the last decade happened in 2009 when I moved the website from an html website format to the blog format you see today. That change allowed you to comment on the stories and photos we post.  A cursory glance through even a few of our galleries makes the case quite clear — the living history that has grown out of the comments section is clearly the most important part of the sentimental history being written here with our photos as simple dinner music.

From the bottom of our hearts… Thank you for ten incredible years, and here’s to ten more.

2 Responses to “Ten Years of Ghosts of North Dakota”
  1. Lynn Mickelson says:

    WOW!!! is right!! You guys have done one heck of a bang up job on this site. I am very new to this site (only about 3 months), but try to check it out every 2-3 days. I really like the ‘update posts’ that automatically come out on the email. I like the way you give credit to others that submit photos to help you out, also. I only wish that I could find some of the old photos that I have showing a few of the now non existent sites just south of Fargo such as Lithia and Enloe (formerly known as Sperry) which were alongside the old Milwaukee RR line and also Pitcairn, which was along the Great Northern RR (now known as the BNSF line). Hey, guys, Keep up the great work!! Thanks for all!!

    Lynn Mickelson

  2. Mark J says:

    Congrats on the upcoming milestone! I’m glad I found out about you guys in the early years and was able to play a small role contributing a few towns. Keep up the good work and I wish you continued success in the future!

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