We photographed this solitary Haynes Township school back in 2013, and although we featured it in a video, we never posted the actual photographs until now. It is in Kidder County, Haynes Township, just off Highway 3, about 11 miles north of Steele, North Dakota. A little further north are a few other places we’ve photographed, including the Tuttle School, two Clear Lake Township schools (here, and here) and true ghost town Arena, North Dakota is about 15 minutes northwest of this place.
This school is on the west edge of… a slough? The body of water in the background of the photo above could be a lake based on its size. Who can clarify? Is this an unnamed slough or a lake?
There was a fence around the old girl, so even though we really wanted some pictures of the inside, we didn’t go past the fence.
This central part of North Dakota is an area of sparse population and a number of vanishing places. You can spend days out here, only occasionally crossing a paved road, visiting dozens of little country schools like this. At the time schools like this were in service, there was a wide education gap between North Dakota’s urban and rural schools. City schools were well-staffed and funded, while the rural schools had a hard time attracting teachers. School consolidation came decades later and all these little school houses fell silent.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2017 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