Lonely and Abandoned Wolf Butte Church

Lonely and Abandoned Wolf Butte Church

The Wolf Butte Lutheran Church is in a remote part of Adams County, North Dakota, about 45 miles south of Dickinson. It was once part of a Lutheran Parish that also included another abandoned church we’ve photographed, the North Grand Lutheran Church, south of Bucyrus. Regular services ended at the Wolf Butte location in 1988.

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church

The Wolf Butte church was unusual for its finish. The exterior appeared to be stucco, or some other kind of applied finish over a wood frame, with cedar shakes covering the upper portion. The bell had been removed from the steeple.

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church

The cornerstone had been removed from the church. I mentioned it to Terry, and after we left, we spent some time discussing where it might have gone. It wasn’t until we got home and examined our photos that we realized it had been placed in the memorial that stood outside the fence of the cemetery, and neither of us had noticed it. I’m not sure why it was removed, but if I had to guess, I would say it’s because the cemetery might remain long after the church has crumbled? If someone knows for sure, please leave a comment.

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church

The church was locked up tight and nobody was around to get permission to go inside, so we settled for photos through the windows.

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church and Cemetery

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church and Cemetery

The headstone for Oscar Roe was replaced sometime recently with a marker made of sheet metal with cutout letters. It was quite unique, and I was impressed that someone had taken the effort and expense to give Mr. Roe, who was born nearly one hundred sixty years ago, a new, original marker.

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church and Cemetery

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church and Cemetery

Terry photographed a small marker of a precious Harvey family baby, Clyde, who didn’t make it to his first birthday.

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church and Cemetery

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church and Cemetery

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church and Cemetery

If you enjoy prairie churches, both active and abandoned, please check out our book, Churches of the High Plains, or ask for it at your favorite local book store or gift shop.

Wolf Butte Lutheran Church

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.

12 thoughts on “Lonely and Abandoned Wolf Butte Church

  1. My Grandfather Kristian Stang is buried in the cemetery along with other relatives. Some attended church right up until it was closed. My brother and his wife, Christ and Ronda Stang are now trying to keep the cemetery up.

    1. Thanks to the Stangs for maintaining the cemetery. I find neglected cemeteries to be incredibly sad, though we know the occupants have moved on.

  2. The Lutheran church in tiny Hastings (pop 16) closed earlier this year. Have you photographed it? They are having an auction on August 1. The church is sold and will become a hunting lodge.

  3. Hi. I have family at Wolf Butte Cementery. Ed Armstrong, died 1947, us barried there. Searhing for information about my grandfathers sister, Bergliot Bjorge died 1983, that lived with Armstrong in Wolf Butte. Do anyone know ther farm or any other info?

  4. Beautiful church, beautiful photos. Lots of care went into this church, and it marked many important family and community events. I can smell the coffee in the basement. My grandparents, Brynjulf and Emma Rogne, were founding members of the North Grand Lutheran Church, affiliate of the Wolf Butte Church.

  5. I was raised in Hazen , have family buried in Fessenden and Mother’s side Schnabel and Flemer in Napoleon.
    Great pictures.

    1. Is the Lutheran Church between Hazen and Pick City still open? I was living in Pick City as a kid and spent many a day at that church. It is closer to Pick City than Hazen

  6. Thank you for sharing the pictures of this church. My great grandparents Ed and Sari Stafne , a baby uncle, and two nephews Scott and Tyler van tassel are buried. In the cemetery.

  7. My grandma, Gladys Bunke was born near here and attended church here. I believe her little brother is buried in the cemetery. Thanks for the photos.

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