Abandoned Lumberyard in Lake Williams, North Dakota

Abandoned Lumberyard in Lake Williams, North Dakota

Lake Williams, North Dakota is a small town, an unincorporated community, in Kidder County, about 30 miles southwest of Carrington.

Lake Williams, ND

Lake Williams had a population of over 80 residents in 1930, but the town shrank slowly over several decades and the post office closed in 1971.

Lake Williams, ND

We visited Lake Williams primarily to photograph this old store/lumberyard.

Lake Williams, ND

Lake Williams, ND

Lake Williams, ND

Lake Williams, ND

Lake Williams, ND

Lake Williams is something of a hot spot for anglers, and there’s a water access ramp down the road from the elevator.

Lake Williams, ND

It was March 15th when we visited and uncharacteristically warm… over 70 degrees. The rapid melt left access to a few places very wet, and we were forced to wait until next time to shoot a few more places we saw.

Lake Williams, ND

Some wiseguy painted a ‘B’ over the ‘G’ on the “Brain Elevator.”

Lake Williams, ND

Do you have our hardcover coffee table book, Churches of the High Plains?

Lake Williams, ND

Kim Ripplinger wrote us about this relic just south of Lake Williams. It is an unfinished cement barn. Kim says “Everything is made of cement… the stallion stalls, water and feed troughs, ….it has an amazing history and I feel so proud that it belongs to my family.”

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



Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota.

11 thoughts on “Abandoned Lumberyard in Lake Williams, North Dakota

  1. Your pictures make my heart ache to get back to North Dakota before my home town becomes one of these abandoned towns. I left there 45 years ago to move to Alabama but North Dakota is still home. I haven’t been back in 3 or 4 years now. The years go by so fast now that it’s hard to remember. I hope to make a trip next year. Thank you for all or your wonderful pictures.

  2. My dad and his brothers/sisters grew up about 5 miles away to the northeast of Lake Williams and have plenty of stories about fishing there. It is neat seeing the Pettibone Elevator. Our family still owns the land out there, moved away in the 60s…but some cousins still live and farm out there. I even have my Pettibone Junction shirt (a bar) that I wear around, love telling stories about it even though they are mostly second hand.

    1. I bought the elevator as no intrest was shown the day of the sale $8000.00 bucks , that is my home town , used to be our olny sources of joy whitmans hardware, ice cream bars , elevator dr. Pepper with peanuts out of a machine, had a summer cabin on north end of main thought fir that we could tear ut down just to see lake , storm blew roof pff stuck lots in to it, any way ,that’s not the pettibone elevator, we’re in lake williams , so they come from pettibone ,we educate them with knowledge they never had, (take it or leave it)and send them back , their for ,quote unquote the Pettibone brain co.. Ha! Ha! Gotta lots stories bout that village.

  3. It’d be nice to be able to capture some of these stories about the towns along with the photographs. It helps keep these people, livelihoods, cities alive for future generations. I’d love to help collect and interview for the stories if you ever have any interest 🙂 I’m a transplant to North Dakota, but I find these small towns and dying way of life so interesting and a vital part of this state’s and country’s history. I’d love to try to keep these stories and people alive through word and photo. Plus I’m a history nerd and love knowing the stories behind the images.

  4. My grandparents lived here amd my mom grew up here. I spent alot of weekend and holidays here. Alot of great memories and my first boyfriend.
    .

  5. I remember going ice fishing there back in the mid/late1960s. The photo of the cement barn jogged my memory. Don’t recall how far from the lake it is, but to us kids it was the Alamo, and had to be explored. Good times.

  6. I grew up about 7 miles south of Lake Williams. The lake used to be a sort of local recreational “hot spot”… Besides the fishing, I remember our family picnicking on the south side of the lake a few times. As I recall, there was even a ramp in the middle of the lake used for water ski jumping. I seem to remember they even had some sort of jumping competition complete with an announcer over a loudspeaker… now that was what I call All-American fun!!

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