We’ve passed this place a dozen times in our travels. It usually happens something like this… we’re on a tight schedule, wanting to get to all of the places we’ve planned to shoot before the sun sets, or the weather turns bad, so we pass on by, promising to hit it next time. Then, we usually get ten minutes down the road, and we start regretting the choice not to stop. So, this time we decided to stop and photograph this lonely James River Church on a hill overlooking Highway 200, about 16 miles east of Carrington, or 30 miles west of Cooperstown.
The sign out front reads “James River Church Landmark & Lutheran Cemetery”. According to the information I’ve been able to find, the church was founded in 1919 and closed in 1969.
The church has obviously been maintained by someone. At the time we visited on Easter Weekend, 2017, it had a nice stainless steel roof and the exterior was nicely painted. It was locked-up tight, so we weren’t able to go inside.
James River Church is in such good condition, from the outside, it looks like it could still host special events, although the windows are all boarded-up.
If you love old churches like this, please check out our hardcover coffee table book, Churches of the High Plains.
What do you know about James River Church? Please leave a comment below.
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