The Majestic and Abandoned North Grand Church

The Majestic and Abandoned North Grand Church

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.

North Grand Church and Cemetery

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.

North Grand Church and Cemetery

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.

North Grand Church and Cemetery

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 Church and Cemetery

North Grand Lutheran Church is surrounded on all sides by crop land with barely a tree in site.

North Grand Church and Cemetery

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.

North Grand Church and Cemetery

North Grand Church and Cemetery

North Grand Church and Cemetery

North Grand Church and Cemetery

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.

North Grand Church and Cemetery

North Grand Church and Cemetery

If you enjoy country churches, both active and abandoned, please consider ordering a copy of our hardcover coffee table book, Churches of the High Plains, to help us offset our considerable web hosting and bandwidth costs.

North Grand Church and Cemetery

North Grand Church and Cemetery

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

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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.

11 thoughts on “The Majestic and Abandoned North Grand Church

  1. I look forward to your posts, and everyone I get brightens my day. I live out side ND now and these photo you do make it feel not so far away! Thanks you again!

  2. Beautiful pictures of the church. I can almost smell the prairie and hear the sounds. I live in Alaska and have most of my life, but I was born in Minot, ND and had grandparents and other relatives in Westhope and Antler. I miss the nice summer visits we made back to ND. Thank you for your pictures!

  3. I grew up a couple miles south and west of that church. My parents were married there, my grandparents and an uncle that was like a grandparent are buried there. You captured the church and the area beautifully!

  4. My favorite church in the whole world! I only knew it like it is now but we passed it on the way to my grandparents farm. I loved it when my mom would take us there!

  5. My grandparents helped build this church. I attended as a child and young adult and later was married there. My grandparents, parents, and an aunt and uncle rest in the cemetery. When I was young we had several successful oyster stew suppers at which I felt honored to help serve. I remember the big coffee pot on the wood cook stove in the kitchen in which my grandmother made coffee with egg added to it! Looking at these pictures brings back many happy memories.

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