Gascoyne, Eight Years Later

Gascoyne, Eight Years Later

Gascoyne is on the east edge of Bowman County, in southwest North Dakota, about fifty-five miles south of Dickinson. The town, not far from the South Dakota border, was first called Fischbein, after a family who settled the area, but the name was changed to Gascoyne in 1908. According to the 2010 Census, there are 16 people still living in Gascoyne.

Gascoyne, North Dakota

We like to revisit the places we’ve photographed over time to see how they’re doing, and Gascoyne seemed largely the same as it was when we first visited in 2007. The former school is probably our favorite photo subject in Gascoyne; beautifully situated atop a hill, right alongside Highway 12.

Gascoyne, North Dakota

The portico over the entryway of the school is sagging just a bit more than it was in 2007. We did not consider it safe to step onto the front steps or go inside the school. That portico could come down any moment if you put weight on the wrong thing.

Gascoyne, North Dakota

The scenery in Gascoyne is a beautiful prairie landscape. On the north and south sides of the Dakota border, it’s an awe-inspiring setting of gentle hills, noticeably lacking in trees — an easy place in which to get lost. Drive ten minutes down a gravel road and you will likely find yourself in a place devoid of power and telephone lines, where the view is the same as it was 150 years ago with perhaps the exception of a road and an occasional fence. It’s time travel at forty miles per hour.

Gascoyne, North Dakota

Gascoyne, North Dakota

Gascoyne, North Dakota

Gascoyne, North Dakota

The students’ desks are still stacked two-high inside the former classroom. The property owner could probably make a good chunk of change if he or she were willing to sell them to collectors, museums, etc…

Gascoyne, North Dakota

Gascoyne, North Dakota

Gascoyne, North Dakota

Gascoyne, North Dakota

Although the front half of Gascoyne Lumber Company still looks good, the back half has suffered a collapse since we last visited.

Gascoyne, North Dakota

The Post Office in Gascoyne closed in 1971, and the last business, the grocery store, closed in 1972.

Gascoyne, North Dakota

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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.

8 thoughts on “Gascoyne, Eight Years Later

  1. Your photography is greatly appreciated. Maybe you would in the future give more camera info as to type and lenses etc., digital or 35mm and if film what type and speed. Kind of a camera nut from way back and love to know that stuff. Keep up the great work.

  2. What great memories, I spent my grade school years in this school. Mrs Teigen was the teacher in this one room school.. Some of school friends was Vernon Peterson,, Douglas Buckman, Allen Eldridge among others. High school was finished in Scranton. I remember well the Gascoyne Lumber company, the brick front building was the Hardware Store , a small grocery store next door.. We even had a Two lane bowling alley & bar, it was a thriving small town..
    Memories is all that is left,thanks to Troy Larsen for posting this, very nice….
    Regards ,
    James Czywczynski , student from Gascoyne grade school. Jimmyczy@aol.com

    1. I also went to school in Gascoyne, my teacher was Mr. McGee
      and my brothers names were Darryle, Donald and Douglas
      Bradley, I am Darlene the youngest and the only girl. The years that I spent there and also all the years that we were in North
      Dakota were the best memories I have. We were moved to California didn’t want to leave but no choice as a child. My
      son wants to take me back to see where I grew up, hopefully
      will make it. Your name sounds so familiar. Is the schoolhouse still standing? I don’t know how old these pics are…Thx for listening. Darlene

  3. Been in this town many times when it was still very alive. Swimming at the lake was always a weekly event.

  4. I am always impressed with the number of windows in those old schools. Can you imagine how bright and lovely that prairie sunlight must have been in the classrooms? Someday I am going to go to this place. Any plans to revisit Fillmore?

  5. The Lumber building was actually the John Deere dealership before it closed. The back part that is very close to falling is fully stocked with parts for old John Deere parts. I think the owner should go in and sell all the rare parts. The owner of this building also owns the school.

  6. Nels Buckman used to help my Dad get his farm rented to a local farmer. Don and JoAnn Peterson rented it for a lot of years. Dad (Eric Gerdin) homesteaded it in 1907; we still have it.

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