Argusville High School

Argusville High School

Argusville is located right off I29 about fifteen minutes north of Fargo. It was founded in 1880 and dwindled to around 100 residents by the 1980’s, but experienced a population boom after the turn of the millennium. Argusville now has a population of 475. So this abandoned high school is a rare spot in an otherwise budding town.

Argusville, North Dakota

The last class graduated from this school in 1997 when it was known as Cass Valley North High School.

Argusville, North Dakota

These photos were taken in 2011, but we returned in 2013 and found things had changed.

Argusville, North Dakota

Argusville, North Dakota

Argusville, North Dakota

Argusville, North Dakota

Argusville, North Dakota

Argusville, North Dakota

Argusville, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2017 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.

36 thoughts on “Argusville High School

  1. Hmm, don’t you mean “population bust” rather than “boom?” Anyhow, that’s sad to hear. I went to Cardinal Muench H.S. in Fargo and remember playing basketball against Argusville all the time. I also remember developing a heavy-duty crush on one of their cheerleaders (who shall remain nameless,) which, along with a certain Wishbone Ash album, is a big part of why the town’s name has stuck in my mind. 8^D

    It’s really a shame to see the building deteriorate – look at those excellent art deco bas-reliefs and the school name above the door!

  2. no we actually meant boom. Argusville’s population in 1980 was about 147, and in 2010 it was over four hundred, thanks to a new housing development which was built west of I29. So Argusville has really undergone a boom in the last three decades.

    1. From above: “Facebook no longer shows our posts to the majority of our followers…”

      May I ask why Facebook has taken this stance?

  3. I went to this high school. It’s so sad to see it in this manner. So many generations have come and gone, and to just watch it wither away is hard to watch. But I’d have to say that even though I attended this school, I’ve never noticed the deco artwork on the side of the building. Very cool! Thank you for taking the pics!
    Go Eagles! =)

  4. I heard that this school is haunted, so me and a couple of friends went into the school. Some wierd things happened and I just want to know if it’s true.

    1. Unfortunately they can’t do anything to the building due to all the vandalism, asbestos, and the roofer taking off the roof years ago which caused too much damage. Amazing part of Argusville though. Lots of memories. My sister went there and I remember running around that school when I was little like I owned the place 🙂

  5. There some great times and many growing pains there – wouldn’t go back to change a thing! I vaguely remember Richard Heller either being hanged by his ankles, or hanging someone by their ankles from the top of the stair bannister. Unfortunately, the stairs don’t look safe for use… Wish I could have bought my old high school and preserved it. Let go Eagles!!!

    1. They made apartments in the Elementary school that everyone went to in Grandin – it worked very nice. Wish they would take the effort at the high school too!

    1. The school in Argusville was being used up until 1997. The district consolidated with a neighboring school and built a new school in the middle of the country.

      1. Curious as to what your source is for the 1997 statement, as I posted my source which implied mid-’70s (I’m not questioning you, as I know nothing about the place and can only go by what I find on the internet, it’s just that when people make factual statements, I like to see the “source” of those statements. It’s okay if the “source” is yourself, from living there or just having personal knowledge of it. But if the source is your own self, you should state that). The only thing I found (just now) that fits with what you said is at http://www.ghostsofamerica.com/5/North_Dakota_Argusville_ghost_sightings3.html where somebody said it was last open in 1998. Sounds like in its latter years it was called Cass Valley North High School instead of Argusville High School (http://www.ghostsofamerica.com/5/North_Dakota_Argusville_ghost_sightings7.html), so that could be causing some of the confusion about when it stopped operating.

        1. The owner told us it closed in “the eighties or nineties” but didn’t seem to know any more specific than that.

          1. Thanks, Troy. Based on that with the other evidence, I am betting that 1997-98 school year thing is probably accurate. It’s amazing how much it can deteriorate in just 13 years (when this post was written) of not being used but also reeeeally shows how it was completely neglected in those short 13 years.

            Makes me wonder what the source of info was for the guy who wrote the Trip Advisor post (link I posted above). He seemed to know quite a bit about Argusville, so it seems weird that he’d be about 20 years off in his assessment of when the high school building stopped being used. Also he used the phrase, “the school has long since been shut down.” I don’t know about anybody else, but I wouldn’t probably use the phrase “long since been shut down” for something that was only shut down 14 years (when he wrote that post). To warrant the phrase, “long since been shut down,” that connotes at least 20 years in my mind but more like 30+ years, certainly not 14 years. That is one of those vague and subjective phrases, though. Maybe 14 years ago is “long since” to him. Doesn’t matter either way.

          1. I graduated from CVN in 1993. Argusville consolidated with Grandin and Gardner in 1976. So yes the Argusville school ended in 1976 but Cass Valley North continued until 1997.

    2. We have a final answer from a definitive source (somebody who was attending there!). This comment was posted below. In short, Jess corroborates that Sarah was correct. Jess commented: “I went to this high school when it was Cass Valley North. The last year there was 1997; in 1998 (the year I graduated) we consolidated with neighboring towns.” So, it seems the last school year the building was in-use was actually 1996-97. So, the answer to your question is “1997,” haha : )

      1. The school building was still used after CVN consolidated with Dakota (Arthur, Hunter, Erie) to create Northern Cass. Students in 7th, 8th and 9th grade went to Argusville for two years (97-98) if I remember correctly.

    3. School closed late 90s when they were becoming Northern Cass. Northern Cass officially opened in 2000 so the schools last year was 97

  6. Sad to see the deterioration. I remember getting a tour at my mother’s 20 year reunion which will be 30 years ago this summer. It was in MUCH better shape then! The art deco details are pretty neat. Some effort should be made to preserve them!

  7. I went to this high school when it was Cass Valley North. The last year there was 1997; in 1998 (the year I graduated) we consolidated with neighboring towns. Very sad to see that it looks like this now.

  8. The “Argusville School” closed in 1975, but Argusville consolidated with two neighboring towns to form Cass Valley North. CVN grades 7-12 used the old Argusville School building until 1997. So, while the Argusville school shut down, the building was still in use. I graduated from there in 1990.

  9. I lived in argusville from 1995 until 2010. My parents still currently live there. I remember going to the elementary school in Grandin. In 1997 argusville, gardner, grandin, arthur, hunter, erie, ect small surrounding towns went to a new school built 8 miles west of gardner. Northern cass is the name of the new school. K-12 . I use to play softball at the field right next to the school in Argusville. The school is all boarded down so you cant go inside it. Too many kids use to go in there and vandalize it. I heard it is haunted.

  10. The school year of 98-99, the school was still being used. I was a freshman, that was the first year of Northern Cass. After that the school hasn’t been used.

  11. Yes, this building went from Cass Valley North High School to a ‘Northern Cass’ Middle School for a couple years (’97-’99) while the new school was being built between Hunter and Gardner. This was after the consolidation between CVN (Argusville, Gardner, Grandin) and Dakota (Arthur, Hunter) effective 1997-1998 school year. I spent my 8th grade year (’97-’98) in this school. High School was in Arthur during the construction period. The new school opened in the 1999 – 2000 school year.

    I came from the Dakota side, so it looked like this:
    6th grade – Dakota Elementary (Hunter)
    7th grade – Dakota Middle/High School (Arthur)
    8th grade – Northern Cass Middle School (Argusville)
    9th grade – Northern Cass High School (Arthur)
    10th grade+ – Northern Cass High School (Hunter zip code)

    Sports were consolidated for a few years prior to Northern Cass. Was considered the DAK-CVN, Warrior-Eagles (Wargles). 🙂

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