As we ventured toward Minot for a book signing event in 2014, we decided we would try to sneak in some shooting time at a few different locations along the drive, but this particular place was not a place we knew about beforehand — we just happened to drive right by it, on highway 30 in Albert Township, just north of Maddock, North Dakota and couldn’t pass up such a picturesque church. The best places are always the places we discover by accident.
This is the former Immanuel Lutheran Church. Founded in 1887 and closed “in God’s Service, July 1st, 2001.” It’s pretty clear how they got the bell out.
The church was locked up tight so we couldn’t go inside, but a visitor to our Facebook page says a lot was removed from inside after this church closed.
This was a very windy and cold November day. Two days later, the first significant snowfall of the season hit a large portion of the state.
This church is featured in our hardcover coffee table book, Churches of the High Plains, which, by the way, makes an excellent gift. 🙂
Someone definitely took great care to design a great roadside monument for passing travelers to enjoy, including a photo of the church in brighter days, and the bell.
This is the second church to wear the name Immanuel Lutheran Church. See the comment from Beth Ulring in the comment section below for the tragic story about the first Immanuel Lutheran Church and a lightning strike that claimed the lives of several men.
There are some pretty old headstones in the cemetery — pioneers who rest in peace at this quiet spot on the prairie.
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