We’ve posted several galleries dedicated to Sanish, North Dakota, the former Missouri River town that was dismantled timber and brick and dispersed to higher ground when the Garrison Dam was erected, flooding this part of the Missouri River Valley. There’s a gallery dedicated to the construction of Four Bears Bridge, our visit to the crumbling remains during historic low water levels in 2005, a Christmas in Sanish gallery, and a look down the street in front of the school and church, but no two photos we’ve seen so far capture this time in our history as these two photos submitted by Don Hammer.
The first photo was taken in October, 1952.
Make note of the landmarks. The school in the background, upper left, and the little black building between (and partially obscured by) the elevators in the lower left. Next, take a look at the photo below, taken from almost the same spot on the bluff in December, 1953. The abandonment of Sanish is nearly complete.
The school is still there in the background, and the camera angle is shifted slightly to the left, so you can see the white church to the left of the school (it was just slightly out of frame in the upper photo), but both of the elevators near the black building in the center are gone, as is most of Sanish. Sanish and Four Bears Bridge were also featured in our book, Ghosts of North Dakota, Volume 3.
Photos submitted by Don Hammer, one-time resident of Sanish.
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Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy