Abandoned: Thelen, North Dakota

By / April 19, 2014 / Thelen, ND

Thelen, North Dakota, sometimes spelled Thelan, is a blip on the historical record of our state. It was established in 1916 and had a post office for just a year, from 1920 to 1921, with Troy E. Beach as the postmaster. Thelen’s peak population of 20 dropped to 4 by the 1930s. North Dakota Place Names by Douglas Wick says August Brockmeyer ran the blacksmith shop in Thelen for years.

Dave Thorson sent in these photos of the remains of Thelen, in Golden Valley County, about eight miles south of Beach.

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Photos by Dave Thorson
Original Content Copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

About Author

Troy Larson

Troy Larson is a father, husband, author, photographer, publisher and devoted cat person. Troy is the President of Sonic Tremor Media and co-founder of GhostsofNorthDakota.com



I tried to find this one on google earth, but had no luck. Might just have to drive around down there on my next trip through.


I think I found it. It only took a minute to find. I went to Google and typed in, “Thelen, ND,” then when the results page came up, I clicked on “Maps” at the top, then off to the left of the map, it had a link that said, “Did you mean:
42nd St SW, Golden Valley County, ND”, so I clicked on that link, which caused it to zoom to that location and it put a point/pin on the map, then I clicked Satellite to show the satellite image, and the point it was showing was near some structures, so I zoomed-in, and tried to compare those structures to the photos on this website, and it does seem like there are a lot of similarities. If I am correct, then Thelen is basically at the intersection of 42nd St SW & 167th Ave SW with a Beach or Golden Valley County address. I put a marker on the map right on the structure that I think is the predominant building in these photos, and that is at https://maps.google.com/maps?q=46.803115,+-103.966949&num=1&t=h&vpsrc=0&ie=UTF8&z=17&iwloc=A. The only unfortunate thing is that this area which I think is Thelen is, I guess, within an older Google satellite image that hasn’t been updated lately and only a couple hundred meters away from a more clear satellite image. (Side-note: I am using the old Google Maps because I don’t prefer the new Google Maps, so some of what I have stated above might work differently if the new Google Maps is being used.)



Ive been there. Its a little turnoff between Beach and Golva, ND. I lived in Beach for two years. I was guessing that it failed because it was one of those towns that the rails (Railroad) missed. There is really nothing there or in Beach or Golva. Its literally In the middle of nowhere. I didn’t see any Ghosts either.

syhann trotter

I did not know this was a town!! I grew up in Beach and did not know anything about the town of Thelen. Myself and my sister took our senior pictures in front of this house. There used to be an old barn that had an actual horse drawn carriage in it. It was covered in beautiful stone. I just thought is was an old abandoned farm house. It was not until I saw your site that I found that this was a “town” instead.

Mike Thelen

My great grandfather started Thelen. We still have the Plat map and a few other documents.


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