Revisiting Tiny Haley, North Dakota

Revisiting Tiny Haley, North Dakota

We revisited Haley, North Dakota in July of 2015, eight years after our first visit in 2007. We had mentioned to a convenience store clerk that we were out photographing ghost towns and abandoned buildings, and she said, “You guys need to go to Haley.” We weren’t far away, so we stopped in for a visit and some photos, and discovered Haley had a population of two, going on three.

Haley, North Dakota

When we returned to Haley in 2015, we found it to be a little less “town,” and a little more farm. We had hoped to speak with the residents again, but we were visiting on a weekday this time, and they may have been busy at work because nobody seemed to be around. There were quite a few vehicles around, though, and it had a much more lived-in atmosphere than we remember in 2007.

Haley, North Dakota

Haley is in southeast Bowman County, just over a mile from the South Dakota border.

Haley, North Dakota

Haley, North Dakota

Haley, North Dakota

The drive through Haley is a blink and you’ll miss it kind of thing.

Haley, North Dakota

Haley, North Dakota

Haley, North Dakota

The one-room school in Haley looks a little more weathered than the last time we were there.

Haley, North Dakota

The Haley Lutheran Church is part of the Scranton Lutheran Parish. It was originally organized as a congregation in nearby Pennville, South Dakota, then moved to Haley, on December 4th, 1946. If you love prairie churches, please check out our book, Churches of the High Plains.

Haley, North Dakota

The sign in front of the church reads “St John’s Lutheran Church, Haley, ND. 8:00 AM Sunday Worship. Pastor Mary Peterson.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

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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.

14 thoughts on “Revisiting Tiny Haley, North Dakota

  1. My mother always used to say that there was a certain beauty to the prairie and the wide open boundless sky. She likened it to being on the Ocean and the hills were like gentle swells. Congratulations to both of you for capturing some of that magic! Thanks!

  2. In fact, what we now call the grasslands of North America (of which ND is a part)were once an ocean. The comparison is accurate and appropriate.

  3. As usual, photos are lovely and, interestingly enough, show North Dakota as the beautiful state it is–in some places. It took awhile, quite a long while, actually, for this New Jersey girl to appreciate the prairie as I do today. Thank you for the text, thank you for the pictures!

  4. My husband has taken me to visit Haley a few times, even when people lived there yet. We attended a Chautauqua there with my mother in law and it was the first time I heard that word! One of the entertainment acts was the “Nasty River Girls”. The food was provided out of a Chuck Wagon it was grand!

  5. Thank you for coming back to Bowman County and the pictures of Rhame, Haley , and Gascoyne. I was born in Bowman in 1944 and grew up in Harding County, SD. I attended a one-room school, Lanesboro School, southwest of Haley from 1949-57. My mother, Josephine Lopata Buckmier, attended the Vessey School south of Haley. I now live in North Carolina.

  6. I got to talking to a neighbor here in NE OH out walking her dogs. She said one branch of her family came from Haley ND. Many years ago she returned for a visit & found just a couple of residents still there. She visited what was left of a sod farmhouse connected to her family & actually recovered a book from it, still in usable condition. She thought there were only a couple of people buried in the cemetery. I didn’t get the name of the family she is connected to. Out of curiosity I Google’d the town name & found this site. Very pretty, and well done. I also went to findagrave and found 2 cemeteries for Haley ND listed with nearly all the interments documented, far more burials than she seemed to be aware of. On my next road trip across the Great Plains I will look for this place.

    1. Tresho,

      I would be interested in what this ladies’ name is and the name of her family from Haley. Also, where
      that sod farmhouse is located. I do get back there occasionally.

      1. I will keep my eye out for her. She walks her English sheep dog and lassie pup every day in the neighborhood & I walk myself, will ask her the next time I see her. She doesn’t use the internet. I think she would like to see this website!

  7. My Dad was born in Haley in 1914 !! He’s name was Alex Kunsman . He’s parents were Henry and Mae Kunsman .

  8. My Mother, Catherine Weeks Silves taught school in the school at Haley. I’m not sure what time frame at the moment, but I have a picture and more information at home. The Weeks family homestead is there.

  9. You guys just continue to amaze me with the quality of photos and the comments you make on the many places you visit. I really appreciate these ‘return trips’ that you make to some of these locations and give us the updates of the slow deterioration…..and occasionally, the preservation attempts made to these long ago established places. I can only imagine the dreams of a great future that so many of the folks, long before us, had when they moved to these places. When I look at these old one room schools, I keep thinking of what it was like to have been there in the dead of winter on the barren ND plains with the wind howling, snow whipping up into huge drifts and with an old wood or coal stove as the only source of heat. Still, I think of all these little schools….with only one teacher for all the grades….and how many of those students got a real quality education for the time and went on to become the local or state leaders and very successful farmers and business people. Wonderful thoughts!

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