Griffin is a true ghost town in Bowman County, along Highway 12, about halfway between Bowman and Rhame, North Dakota. Although there are some working farms and ranches in the area, there’s barely a town any more, and no apparent residents in the actual townsite.
A maximum population of 67 was reported in 1930, but the post office closed that same year and the town quickly vanished. This old schoolhouse is the most prominent remaining structure from Griffin.
Above: a look inside the old schoolhouse.
Griffin was once the home to some of the biggest stock yards in southwest North Dakota, and reportedly had a store and lumber yard. It was also a stop on one of America’s first cross-country highways–a route from Massachusetts to Seattle, marked in places by three foot stone markers painted yellow, known as the Yellowstone Trail.
Griffin is just one of many true ghost towns we’ve visited in North Dakota, where the buildings still stand but the people are gone. See a list of true ghost towns, population zero.
Griffin was a Milwaukee Road railroad town, and known as Atkinson until February 10, 1908, when the name was changed to Grifiin to honor H.T. Griffin, the Assistant General Passenger Agent for the railroad. What do you know about Griffin, North Dakota? Please leave a comment below.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media
Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy