Cleveland, North Dakota was founded in 1882 by settlers who came from Cleveland, Ohio. It is in Stutsman County, right along Interstate 94, about 20 minutes west of Jamestown.
Cleveland once had over 300 residents, but like many small rural communities, declined with the railroad transportation culture. In the 2000 Census, Cleveland had 112 residents in 52 households. By 2010, the number had dropped to 83 residents from 40 households. These buildings along 5th Avenue tell the tale of a slowly vanishing prairie town.
The former Cleveland Grocery looks like it has been deserted for quite some time.
The former bank went through some changes. You can see non-original brickwork that was used to fill the window and door openings, presumably to make them smaller and more energy efficient in a cold, North Dakota winter.
According to North Dakota Place Names by Douglas A. Wick, Cleveland did not officially incorporate as a city until 1968.
This building strongly resembles some of the old hotels and bunkhouses we’ve seen. Can you tell us what it was?
There is also an impressive former public school in Cleveland, but it looks like someone has purchased the property for use as part of a heavy-equipment business of some sort, so we didn’t photograph it.
The first Post Office opened in Cleveland in 1882 but closed in 1884, with Windsor, North Dakota becoming the closest mail stop. In 1900, a new post office opened in Cleveland. Today, this utilitarian structure is the Post Office for Cleveland.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, © 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