The majestic and abandoned North Grand Church is in Adams County, ten miles southwest of Hettinger and just a mile north of the South Dakota border. It served this barely-populated part of the county for sixty years, from 1909 to 1969.
I would describe this church as brick, although I’m not sure that’s the correct term. The blocks are larger than your typical brick and they have a textured surface that makes them particularly beautiful. If someone has some clarification on the construction of this church, please leave a comment below.
We found getting to this church somewhat challenging. The nearest paved highway is five miles to the west, and even the dirt roads leading to this beautiful place are very lightly traveled. In places, it was just two wheel tracks with prairie grass growing up in the middle, but it was worth the trip. When we arrived, we shut off the car and got out, greeted with our favorite reward — the sound and smell of the prairie. Crickets chirped and the prairie grass swished in the light breeze. No traffic noise, no people, and our cellphones didn’t ring. Perfection.
A visitor to our Facebook page reports this church was once part of a Lutheran Parish that included the Wolf Butte, Bucyrus, and Richland churches.
North Grand Lutheran Church is surrounded on all sides by crop land with barely a tree in site.
The inside of the North Grand Lutheran Church is in better condition than some of the churches we’ve visited, like St. John’s in Arena, but not by much. There aren’t many years left in this place without human intervention, and the remote location makes that unlikely.
Judging by the small number of graves, the cemetery has apparently been very lightly used. We saw mostly old stones from the WWII-era, but one was from as recently as 2006. Holden, Jeffers, and Hanson were some of the names we noticed.
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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. @NorthDakotaTroy