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Category: Crystal Springs, ND

Kidder County
Inhabited as of 5/05

Return to Crystal Springs

Return to Crystal Springs

We first visited Crystal Springs in 2005, primarily to photograph the abandoned school which is quite visible from the Interstate.  We didn’t find out until later that we had neglected to photograph a portion of Crystal Springs which waits just north of the highway.  So, on Memorial Weekend of 2013, we returned to Crystal Springs.

While many towns suffered when they were bypassed by an interstate, Crystal Springs’ decline was hastened when it was bisected by the interstate, effectively cutting the town in two.

Crystal Springs, North Dakota

The roof of the school has collapsed in places and the elements pour in.

Crystal Springs, North Dakota

Crystal Springs’ church and school are featured in our hardcover coffee table book, Ghosts of North Dakota, Volume 3.

Crystal Springs, North Dakota

Crystal Springs, North Dakota

Crystal Springs, North Dakota

The re-painting that someone began on the old church was never finished, and now the church is deteriorating again, the boarded-up front door kicked-in by vandals.

Crystal Springs, North Dakota

On the north side of the Interstate rests the former spring — a stopping off point for tourists in the pre-interstate era.  We’ve heard many accounts from travelers who enjoyed a drink of cold water from the spring on a family trip through Crystal Springs.

UPDATE: A visitor to our Facebook page reported the spring had been restored with a grant and was running once again, but a more recent visitor in the summer of 2015 told us the spring is again dormant.

Crystal Springs, North Dakota

This abandoned house sits across the road from the fountain.

Crystal Springs, North Dakota

Crystal Springs, North Dakota

Crystal Springs, North Dakota

This is a former service station near the fountain.

Crystal Springs, North Dakota

Crystal Springs, ND

Near the green house shown further up the page lies this collapsed wreckage of another home.

Crystal Springs, North Dakota

A close examination of this photo shows what happened to Crystal Springs. The road I stood on when taking this photo once connected to the road in the distance, just above the detour sign. Today, the interstate cuts through the middle.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

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Crystal Springs, ND

Crystal Springs, ND

Kidder County
Status: Inhabited as of 5/05

Crystal Springs is a town with perhaps 8 to 10 inhabited homes and/or farms, but this school and church are no longer in use (there is another church in Crystal Springs which appears to be used regularly).

The white church pictured right is partially covered in a new coat of white paint, so maybe a restoration is underway.

The town was built in 1873 and the Post Office opened in 1884. Crystal Springs was a popular roadside stopping point for years, until it’s access was cut off by Interstate 94.

Crystal Springs might be the most easily accessible ghost “town” in the state, sitting directly off I-94 about halfway between Bismarck and Fargo. As a matter of fact, Crystal Springs would probably make a great location for a “frontier-town” type tourist attraction, due to it’s proximity and visibility from the interstate.

Photos by Troy and Rat, copyright SonicTremorMedia.com