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Category: Leith, ND

Grant County
Inhabited as of 5-07

8 More Lost North Dakota Places

8 More Lost North Dakota Places

Unfortunately, we have to do a post like this from time to time. As the years pass, many of the places we’ve photographed also pass… into history. Whether it be the wrecking ball, weathering, or disaster, many of the places we’ve photographed since 2003 are now gone. We documented some of the losses in 10 Lost North Dakota Places and 10 More Lost North Dakota Places, now, unfortunately, here are 8 More Lost North Dakota Places.

Maza School

Maza School

A visitor recently commented to tell us the Maza School apparently burned sometime in 2015 or 2016. As one of the few remaining structures from Maza, the end of this school effectively spells the end for Maza.

Bluegrass Store and Gas Station

Bluegrass, North Dakota

Bluegrass, North Dakota, is a true ghost town, population zero, in Morton County, about thirty-five miles northwest of Mandan. Bluegrass is a former rural community that had a population of 20 in the 1920 Census, a relatively small peak population, but not surprising considering the railroad never came to Bluegrass. Sadly, this former store and gas station burned down in 2014.

Northgate Port of Entry

Northgate, North Dakota

Northgate is a fascinating near-ghost town right on the Canadian border, about 70 miles northwest of Minot. It was originally founded one mile to the north, but moved one mile south to its present site. While the original town site retained the name North Gate (with a space) this town was renamed North Gate South, and then re-dubbed Northgate (without the space) when the post office was established in 1914. This building was once the Port of Entry Station, but was abandoned when a new Port was built. A person commented on our Facebook page to say the building has since been demolished.

Much of Leith, North Dakota

leith-store

Leith‘s troubles have been highly publicized, so we don’t have to say much except that numerous vacant structures were demolished after a white supremacist bought up the property in an attempt to take over the town. This creamery is one of the buildings which no longer stands in Leith.

Lost Bridge

Lost Bridge on the Little MIssouri River

Lost Bridge was so named because in 1930 when it was originally constructed over the Little Missouri River, about 23 miles north of Killdeer, there were no quality roads leading to the site, and the bridge was seldom used. Paved roads came in the sixties, but Lost Bridge was demolished in 1994 and replaced with a modern highway bridge.

Brantford Public School

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford Public School still stands in this Eddy County ghost town, but not for long.  One of the classrooms has collapsed and cracks can be seen throughout the exterior walls. Soon, Brantford Public School will be no more.

Minot Church

minot-church2

This church, known as Augustana Lutheran Church (and other names over the years) would have been a fantastic place for a business. It stood in a high traffic location, at the foot of Broadway, across from Sammy’s Pizza in Minot. Sadly, after years of dereliction, mold, and a close call in the 2011 flood, the church was demolished.

Most of Bucyrus

bucyrus1

Bucyrus, North Dakota was struck by a wind-driven grassfire in 2010 and many of the abandoned structures in town, as well as a number of family homes, were destroyed. This home, on the west side of town, was one of the casualties. Thankfully, nobody lost their life in the fire, but Bucyrus will never be the same.

Antler Bank

antler1

After being driven out of Leith, the same white supremacist allegedly tried to buy vacant properties in Antler, North Dakota. The city bought up a number of properties to prevent the takeover, and this former bank building was one of them. In early 2016, it was demolished.

Original content copyright © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

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Leith, North Dakota After the Turmoil

Leith, North Dakota After the Turmoil

We first visited Leith, North Dakota, in Grant County, about fifty miles southwest of Mandan, in May of 2007. We had heard that it was a shrinking rural community with a few abandoned places to photograph, and we found that to be true, but we could not have known that Leith would become a place of conflict just a few years later when a white supremacist would move-in and thrust Leith into a national spotlight.

Leith, North Dakota

We watched from afar with dread as buildings in Leith were vandalized with spray-painted swastikas and decorated with banners of hate as Leith’s residents were threatened with violence, their community meetings disrupted by vile characters. The apologists for racists like those who invaded Leith would tell you they simply wanted to live in an all-white community, but a simple look at Census statistics reveals there are dozens of tiny rural communities all over North Dakota that are already one-hundred percent Caucasian — not out of hate, but simply by default. They could have easily settled in any one of those communities and lived peacefully. No, these people wanted to impose their will on Leith and the remaining sixteen residents.

Leith, North Dakota

Through several years of turmoil, meetings and demonstrations were held, ordinances were passed and enforced, and the hate-mongers were eventually driven out. We visited Leith again in July of 2015 to see how the town had fared.

Leith, North Dakota

Leith, North Dakota

Terry suggested we should stop in the local bar for a chat and some refreshments to help stimulate the local economy in whatever small measure we could, but we only stayed a short time. After what Leith has gone through, we found smiles in short supply and people apparently (but understandably) wary of strangers. We asked about some of the buildings which once stood in Leith, and the bartender told us many of them were “pushed down and burnt down” after the racists moved on. She described the situation succinctly as “a crock of bullshit.

Leith, North Dakota

The former Leith Creamery building, which once stood next to the home with the red front door, is gone. Intentionally razed for reasons that vary, depending on who you ask.

Leith, North Dakota

Leith, North Dakota

Leith, North Dakota

Vacant lots dot the townsite in Leith. Many of the places we photographed in 2007 are now gone. Bad weather limited the amount of time we spent in Leith, so we didn’t photograph everything we’d hoped to.

Leith, North Dakota

Leith, North Dakota

Leith, North Dakota

Leith, North Dakota

Leith, North Dakota

The Leith Fire Department building is now gone and only the bell remains. We have two galleries of photos from our previous visit to Leith which you can see here and here.

Leith, North Dakota

The racist who started the turmoil in Leith has since moved to Sherwood, North Dakota and has designs on another town we’ve photographed, Antler, North Dakota. In the interest of preserving our prairie heritage and pioneer architecture, we can only hope they run him out of town, too.

Leith, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media.

More Photos of Leith

More Photos of Leith

We first visited Leith in May of 2007, and you can see that gallery here.  These photos from the Leith area were in in our archive, not previously published.  Enjoy!

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Leith, ND

Leith, ND

Leith, ND was founded in 1910 as a Milwaukee Road Railroad town and once held as many as 170 people. It is a very clean and fairly intact near-ghost town.

US Census Data for Leith
Total Population by Place

1960 – 100
1970 – 92
1980 – 59
2000 – 28
2010 – 16

The train depot closed in 1964.

A Leith Panorama