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Random Points of Interest

Northern Pacific High Line Bridge #64

Northern Pacific High Line Bridge #64

High Line Bridge in Valley City is the longest railroad bridge in the state and like the Gassman-Coulee Trestle in Minot and the Sheyenne River Bridge near Karnak, we chose to photograph it and feature it here due to the railroads’ pivotal role in settling North Dakota. All three of these bridges are still used daily.

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Ringsaker Lutheran and Romness Bridge

Ringsaker Lutheran and Romness Bridge

Someone suggested this place to us last fall, we waited all winter to visit, and it was worth the wait.  Ringsaker Lutheran Church and School are about seven and half miles north of Cooperstown, and they’re rich in history dating back to what is claimed to be the first Christian religious service in Griggs County, in 1879 or 1880.

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Shepard View, 1905

Shepard View, 1905

As we drove north along County Road 19 about four miles south of Cooperstown, I was blabbing on about something when Terry suddenly pointed. “What’s that?”

Shepard View Estate

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Abandoned Barnes County School

Abandoned Barnes County School

This abandoned school was not a planned stop, but we happened to drive right by it and decided we should stop to shoot it. This abandoned country school is in northern Barnes County, about five miles southwest of Sibley, North Dakota. If anyone knows the official name of this school, please leave a comment below.

Update: a visitor has identified this school as Weiland’s St. Mary’s School

Abandoned Barnes County School

Abandoned Barnes County School

Abandoned Barnes County School

Abandoned Barnes County School

Abandoned Barnes County School

Abandoned Barnes County School

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

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

Watrous: A Stop on the Milwaukee Road

Watrous: A Stop on the Milwaukee Road

Nate Reynolds posted these photos to our Facebook page with the comments: Watrous, between Bentley and Mott, this is all that’s left. Watrous was a stop along the Milwaukee Road railroad line about 75 miles southwest of Bismarck, and had a population of 15 in 1920.

Watrous, North Dakota

Watrous, North Dakota

Photos by Nate Reynolds. Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

The First Tornado Ever Photographed in North Dakota

The First Tornado Ever Photographed in North Dakota

I ran across this photo while I was perusing the photos at the Library of Congress and I was totally blown away.  Clinton Johnson took this photo, captioned “North Dakota Cyclone,” in an unknown North Dakota town in 1895, just six years after North Dakota statehood.  It appears to depict a menacing tornado bearing down on a North Dakota town.  If you look closely, you can see some people standing around, watching, proving that even in the 1800s, people were gawkers.  Farmer A.A. Adams took the first ever photo of a tornado in Kansas in 1884, a feat which was overshadowed by another tornado photograph taken a few months later in South Dakota.

I believe this is the first photograph ever taken of a tornado in North Dakota. You can read about the 1957 Fargo F5 tornado in Fargo Moorhead Lost and Found.

North Dakota Cyclone, 1895

We’re posting this photo here because a) it’s super cool, and b) there is a (very) slim chance that we might be able to identify this location. Mr. Johnson also appears to have also been one of the photographers who covered the San Francisco Earthquake in 1906.

Do you know anymore about photographer Clinton Johnson or the location of this photograph? Please leave a comment.

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Walsh County Dereliction

Walsh County Dereliction

Every so often we discover some photos in an old folder and we can’t pinpoint exactly where we snapped them. It’s usually a quick roadside stop where one of us shot some photos while the other grabbed sodas out of the cooler — three minutes and we’re gone. This was likely one of those stops.

Somewhere in Walsh County between Grafton and Conway, we stopped and shot this old building — a country school or township hall perhaps. It caught our attention due to the unnatural angle at which it now resides as it collapses in a slow-motion, three decade implosion.

Walsh County, North Dakota

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Walsh County, North Dakota

Walsh County, North Dakota

Walsh County, North Dakota

Update: This location has been identified as the former Prairie Center Township School, District #6 at the Pisek Corner in Walsh County, shown on the map below. It burned in 2011 (we took these shots in June of that year) and ruins are all that remain today.


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

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

The Rise of Devils Lake

The Rise of Devils Lake

There is a concentration of vanishing places in the lands surrounding Devils Lake — places like Hamar, Grand Harbor, and the remains of a ski jump.  In the last few decades, Devils Lake has risen steadily and has driven even more people from their homes and farms, and inundated numerous roads and highways.

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Minot Central High School

Minot Central High School

The space where Minot High School’s Central Campus now stands has a long history as home to several impressive schools, one of which also happens to be my alma mater.  In 1893, a far-too-small schoolhouse was replaced with the building below – Central School, sometimes referred to as “Central Graded School” with the “d”.

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Fargo’s Front Street, 1909

Fargo’s Front Street, 1909

If you’re fascinated by history, you know postcards are really a simple pleasure. You can tease so many stories out of a few fine details when you look close.

This intersection in Fargo is significant in the history of our state as the place where Fargo literally rose from the ground after the NP Avenue Railroad Bridge was completed in 1872, less than a mile to the east.  It was the first railroad bridge across the Red River at a time when this was still the Dakota Territory. The Northern Pacific stopped at the depot just out of frame on the right and thus, this city block became the first stop in Dakota for the majority of travelers from the east and was frequently the first time many had experienced what they perceived as “the west.”

Moody’s department store would have been just out of frame on the left of the scene below, and there are other interesting landmarks in this postcard, too. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the postcard.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

I found this card when I was nosing around in a box at an antique store. It shows Front Street in Fargo, a street known today as Main Avenue, circa 1909, with Broadway intersecting in the foreground. As you can see, the card was in pretty bad shape, so I started by doing a quick restoration.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

That’s not perfect, but a little better.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

Dr. Mallarian had his offices right on the corner in the same building as the bank, which was founded in 1878 as the First National Bank. However by the time of this photo in 1909, the bank had changed hands and was known as Commercial Bank of Fargo.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

Signs for Emery & Johnson Cycle Company and H.F. Emery Hardware.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

I count three drug stores on this block, a dentist, an insurance agency, and whatever H.G. Edwards sold.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

Front Street Fargo, 1909

Two interesting stories here… on the left, the old DeLendrecie’s department store.  At the time this photo was taken, it was only two stories (see photo top) but it would later have three more stories added.  DeLendrecies moved from this building to the mall in 1973 and was purchased and turned into a Herberger’s store in 1998, ending a one hundred year run.  The downtown DeLendrecies building has been redeveloped into the Block 6 apartment complex.

On the right, the Fargo Waldorf, a hotel that was ingeniously located directly across the street from the Northern Pacific depot.  Like the DeLendrecies building, the Waldorf is yet to reach its full stature at the time of this photo — it’s four stories, but a fifth would be added later. The hotel was destroyed by fire on December 13th, 1951. Read more about the Waldorf at Fargo Moorhead Lost and Found.

Main Avenue, Fargo

Here’s the block as it looks today, occupied by trendy stores, coffee houses and a pizza joint.  The street is considerably wider, and the former DeLendrecies building at the end of the block is now five stories.  All things considered, it’s a small miracle that almost all of these buildings still stand.

Main Avenue, Fargo

If you have suggestions on historically significant North Dakota places that we should feature here, please feel free to contact us.

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Crossing Caledonia Bridge

Crossing Caledonia Bridge

We first visited the Caledonia Bridge in 2006 and found it closed to all but foot traffic. We think it’s the second oldest still-standing bridge in North Dakota, having been built in 1895, and second only to the Viking Bridge near Portland. The Viking Bridge was built in 1885 and was restored in 2006, and we definitely think Caledonia Bridge should be high on the list for a restoration in the near-future. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

We returned for another visit in September of 2013 and found the bridge much the same, albeit with a few more weeds and overgrowth. Crossing Caledonia Bridge is peaceful, especially on a gorgeous late-summer night like the night of our visit.

Caledonia Bridge

Caledonia Bridge

Caledonia Bridge

Caledonia Bridge

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Caledonia Bridge

Caledonia Bridge

Caledonia Bridge

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

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

Bethel Lutheran Church, Rural Wildrose

Bethel Lutheran Church, Rural Wildrose

On fourth of July weekend, 2013, we found ourselves ahead of schedule on our two day photo shoot.  In the town of Fortuna, we found the church we wanted to photograph had oil workers camping out on the property and big trucks parked in front of it.  We moved on to another location which also turned out to be a bust, so we set out for Powers Lake to get some lunch.

Bethel Luthern Church, Rural Wildrose

As we drove along highway 50 between Alamo and McGregor, North Dakota, we were absolutely struck by the beauty of the drive. Lakes dotted the landscape like blue jewels in a rolling green setting. Suddenly, along the side of the road in the distance, Terry spotted a steeple. As we approached, it just looked too good to pass up, so we decided to stop and shoot this church — Bethel Lutheran Church, rural Wildrose. What a beautiful place.

Bethel Luthern Church, Rural Wildrose

Bethel Luthern Church, Rural Wildrose

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

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

Argusville: School’s Out

Argusville: School’s Out

We paid a brief visit to Argusville High School today and found things have changed quite a bit since our last visit in 2011.  The school was in a terrible state of disrepair and had been thoroughly vandalized when we last saw it, but it has since been boarded-up.

Argusville High School

The rusting twin fire escapes have been torn down, leaving the front of the school as it originally looked before they were erected.  Every door and window has now been boarded-up tight by the owner.  We spoke with him briefly during our visit and he told us the combination of vandalism and some questionable modifications by a previous owner contributed to some terrible water damage inside the school.

See what it looked like in 2011 here.

Argusville High School

UPDATE:  A visitor tells us the last class graduated from this school in 1997 when it was known as Cass Valley North High School. This school is featured in our hardcover book, Ghosts of North Dakota, Volume 1.

Argusville High School

Photos by Troy, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

Building LaMoure County Courthouse

Building LaMoure County Courthouse

This is a vintage post card view of LaMoure County Courthouse while it was still under construction in LaMoure, North Dakota.  The courthouse was constructed in 1907.  Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The wikipedia entry for this courthouse reads, in part: The structure includes a highly-detailed, metal-covered dome with bull’s eye windows topped by a ball finial. An octagonal tower with columns and arched windows supports the dome. The front facade features four large Corinithian columns.

LaMoure County Courthouse

Note the construction workers up on the dome.

Although it was built in 1907, this postcard was sent on December 11th, 1911.

LaMoure County Courthouse

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Tuttle Country School

Tuttle Country School

This is a lonesome country school on County Road 3, about eight miles southeast of Tuttle in Kidder County.  Unfortunately, it was boarded up tight and there was very little to see.

Tuttle School

Tuttle School

Tuttle School

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

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

Sterling School No. 2

Sterling School No. 2

We’ve seen this school referenced online as Wing School #3, however the sign above the door appears to read Sterling No. 2.  The school is located closer to Wing than it is Sterling, so we wonder whether this school originally stood somewhere else and was moved to this spot, about 9 miles north of Wing.  If someone could shed some light on this school’s history, we would appreciate your insight.

Sterling School 2

Update:  Wanda Burrer posted on our Facebook page with more details.

“The school building was originally built in Sterling Township in Burleigh County in 1917 under the name , Sterling No. 2. This was about 22 [miles] south of where it is today. Due to declining enrollment the school closed in 1927. In 1937 Florence Lake Township purchased the schoolhouse and moved it to it’s present location after their building was destroyed by fire. Due to the financial struggles of the Great Depression Era it was easier and faster for the township to relocate an existing building instead of constructing a new school house. It served students till 1961. In November 2011 it was listed with the National Register of Historic Places. The Florence Lake Township is in the process of fixing it up.”

The architecture of this school is unique compared to the other country schools we’ve seen.

Sterling School 2

Sterling School 2

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Sterling School 2

Sterling School 2

Sterling School 2

Sterling School 2

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

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

Clear Lake School

Clear Lake School

This is one of two schools in Clear Lake Township which we’ve seen referenced as simply “Clear Lake School.”  This one sits near the junction of 26th Avenue SE and County Road 36, about two miles east of Tuttle in Kidder County.  The other is several miles east.  If you know the official name of either of these schools, we would appreciate your insight.  There is also a cemetery right across the road which we chose not to photograph due to some extremely wet conditions.

This part of North Dakota is teeming with wildlife.  We saw a bald eagle fly right over our car on the way to this school, a coyote on the side of the road, plus multiple deer, geese, and pheasants.  There was a roadkill deer carcass lying in the grass right near this school as well.

The school was locked up tight, but Terry managed to catch a shot of the inside by holding his camera up to a broken out window high on one exterior wall.

Clear Lake School

Clear Lake School

Clear Lake School

Clear Lake School

Clear Lake School

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

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

Weiser Township School

Weiser Township School

This one-room township school is located about fifteen miles north of Interstate 94 in a very sparsely populated part of Kidder County, surrounded by farm fields for miles in every direction.

 

Weiser School

Weiser School

We featured this school in our second book, Ghosts of North Dakota, Volume 2.

Weiser School

Weiser School

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Weiser School

We visited on Memorial Weekend of 2013, and in the coat room, we discovered a log book. The first entry on the log book reads: “These are the names of people who visited here, and left their names on the black boards. I copied them as well as I could.” — Ruth

The first few pages are in Ruth’s handwriting, and then eventually people started signing the log book themselves when they visited. The oldest entry we saw was from 1984, and the most recent was from January of 2013. What incredible foresight on the part of Ruth to log the comments on the chalkboard in a longer lasting medium.

Weiser School

Weiser School

Weiser School

Weiser School

Weiser School

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

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

Clear Lake School II

Clear Lake School II

This is one of two rural schools we photographed in Clear Lake Township, and we’ve seen it referenced simply as Clear Lake School.  Kathy Wilner emailed us to say she’s been documenting one-room schools for the North Dakota Historical Society and had the following comments:

It was [originally] located on the south side of a body of water called Long Alkaline Lake, straight north of Highway 36 on 31st Ave SE…  This would be east of Robinson. It was moved from North Merkel Township in northern Kidder County.  The person I visited with told me it was called Barton #8 and he attended 8 years of school there.

Today, it rests all alone in the middle of a farmer’s field, about four miles west of Robinson in Kidder County, right off County Road 36.

Clear Lake School

Clear Lake School

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Clear Lake School

Clear Lake School

Photos by Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

Now Arriving at Roseville, North Dakota

Now Arriving at Roseville, North Dakota

Roseville, North Dakota is a former Great Northern Railroad station at the intersection of County Roads 11 and 16 in Traill county, about ten minutes southwest of Mayville.

Roseville, ND

Roseville was never much more than a loose collection of farmsteads surrounding a grain elevator. Today, the tracks have been pulled up and the grain elevator is crumbling, but you can imagine a time, in the steam locomotive days, when a train passed through Roseville every day, loading grain from the elevator and delivering settlers to nearby towns with depots.

Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

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Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

Above: Looking down the former railbed, the ties and rails long since pulled up.

Roseville, ND

The condition of the elevator in 2013 didn’t inspire a lot of confidence. It looked like it would topple over, but at last update in 2017, it was still standing.

Roseville, ND

There is one other structure on-site, the white building shown above, which we’re told was the former township school, and was last used as the township hall.

Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte is the highest point in the state of North Dakota at 3,506 feet above sea level. The peak is on private land and is not staffed. Of the 50 state highpoints, only seven are on private land — North Dakota, Nebraska, Maryland, Louisiana, Kansas, Indiana and Illinois. There is no development of any kind at White Butte. The closest town, Amidon, had a population of 26 in the 2000 Census, and is the smallest county seat in the nation as the seat of Slope County. According to the 2010 Census, Slope is one of only two counties in the state with a population density of less than one person per square mile… a lot of wide open space out here.

The hike to the top of White Butte is fairly easy if you follow the path up the ridgeline to the summit.

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

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White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

 

White Butte

At the summit. The memorial at lower right is a tribute to the former property owner, Lawrence Buzalsky, who died in 1990.

White Butte

There is a summit log notebook in this box. We signed it and left a stack of postcards in the box, but we have yet to hear from anyone who got one.

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

White Butte

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

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

More of the Fargo Waldorf

More of the Fargo Waldorf

We added a postcard of the Fargo Waldorf as it looked in 1911 a few days ago.  Here are a few more looks at this long gone Fargo landmark.  In the first postcard below from 1906 or ’07, the Northern Pacific Depot is center-left, and the Waldorf is the four-story building center-right.  This view is looking southeast from the tracks at 8th Street North.

np-depot-1906-07

The postcard above was sent to Miss Margaret Kelly in Detroit, Michigan in February of either 1906 or ’07 with the following message:

Hello Margaret. I just got home from Fargo.  Would send from there but did not have address.  Now, even away, I think of you.  Many thanks for the nice Xmas card.  Will write you a letter soon.  Hope you are well.  Kindest regards from J. and myself.  Write [something illegible] Don’t wait.  Mrs. [first name illegible] Shea.  Two Harbors. 2/22/06 (I believe she mistakenly wrote ’06 instead of ’07)

In the postcard below, from the same time frame, we get a look at the Waldorf from the opposite angle.  This shot looks southwest from Front Street and Broadway.  The Waldorf is at the end of the block, under the tree.  Thanks to Jordan Doerr for the postcard.

waldorf-block6

np-depot-1924

Here we have two similar angles on the same scene, nearly ninety years apart.  The postcard above is from around 1924.  You can see the reddish Waldorf center-right, now a five story building due to the floor which was added sometime between 1907 and 1911.  You can also see the DeLendrecies department store, the tan building in the center, which is now part of the scene, and the NP Depot on the left.  In the shot below from 2011, the Delendrecies Building and Depot are still there, and the tall, skinny sign behind the lightpole with “LJA Architects” on it marks the spot where the Waldorf once stood.

np-depot-today

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Fargo College

Fargo College

This is the long gone Fargo College in Fargo, North Dakota.  The building shown in this postcard, Jones Hall, was completed in 1890.  By 1915, there were two more buildings flanking this one, Dill Hall, and the Fargo College Library, a Carnegie Library which was dedicated by former President Theodore Roosevelt.  The school shown here was located on the hill just south of Island Park in Fargo.  All the open space you see in this postcard is now filled with homes and apartments.

The college, Fargo’s first, closed it’s doors in 1922 due to financial problems.  There were plans to re-open the college, but the stock market crash and ensuing Great Depression ended those plans.  In 1940, Jones Hall and Dill Hall were demolished, and the Carnegie library was torn down in 1964.  The cornerstone is now at Bonanzaville in West Fargo.  The only remaining structure from Fargo College is the former Watson Hall Conservatory of Music at 601 Fourth Street South, which is now the home of the Fargo Fine Arts Club.

Today, it is hard to imagine razing buildings of this size and historical/architectural significance.  This is one more example of why we feel as passionately as we do about preserving our historic structures whenever and however we can.

fargo college

The postcard below shows Fargo College after Dill Hall had been constructed right next to Jones Hall.  Thanks to Jordan Doerr for the postcard.

Fargo College, Jones and Dill

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Acton School

Acton School

This is Acton School in Acton Township, Walsh County.  David Schultz sent in these photos with the following comments:

Not sure if you would be interested in these pictures of the Acton School. First classes held 1883 Last term was 1956. My Mom attended this school and my Grand Mother taught at it. School was getting in pretty poor condition so it was torn down this Spring but I thought I better get few pictures  of it before I knew the day was coming when it would be gone.

acton-school-2
acton-school-3
acton-school-4
acton-school-1
acton-school-5Visitors over the years wrote their names on the blackboard.  A close examination of the full-size photos sent by David Schultz reveals a few of the following names and inscriptions: Robin Robert – 1981, Kieley kids came from California (with a date that’s illegible), and various other hard to read stuff.

acton-school-6
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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Waldorf Hotel 1911

Waldorf Hotel 1911

I was rummaging through a box of old postcards at an antique store some time ago and I found this old damaged postcard of the Fargo Waldorf Hotel in 1911.  I did a restoration job on the postcard and came up with this.

The Waldorf in Fargo was built in 1899, right across the street from the depot.  For immigrants from the east, this was frequently the first stop in North Dakota for a lot of travelers fresh off the train.  The Waldorf went through several owners over the years, and was also known as the Milner Hotel and the Earle Hotel.  It was destroyed in a fire on December 13th, 1951.

This postcard was mailed on July 6th, 1911 to Miss Bess McCullough in Milton, North Dakota with the following message:

This is a view of the hotel in which I work.  My room is five blocks away — Hal

Waldorf Postcard Restoration

waldorf-back-web

This postcard was a fold-out card, and had the menu from the Waldorf kitchen on the inside.  You can’t get a meal like this at a hotel these days without breaking the bank.

waldorf-1911-menu

waldorf site today

On the site of the former Waldorf Hotel today — a bank which was later converted to an architectural firm’s office. As of this writing, it is vacant.

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Devils Lake Rises

Devils Lake Rises

Most North Dakotans know what has been going on in Devils Lake over the last few decades.  A steady rise of water levels on the lake has inundated towns like Church’s Ferry and Minnewaukan, plus numerous farms, homes, and businesses.  Without a natural outlet, the lake has continued to rise and has been the subject of contentious political battles.  One of Terry’s best photos features a home which was overtaken by the ever-expanding shoreline of Devils Lake.

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

The Remains of Munster Schoolhouse

The Remains of Munster Schoolhouse

When we set out to photograph this school, we believed it was still intact, so it came as a surprise when we arrived to see this.

This burned-out shell of Munster schoolhouse is all that remains of a town that never really was. Munster was a Great Northern Railroad loading station, established in 1912, about 30 miles southwest of Devils Lake  — there was a grain elevator, and this school. The grain elevator was torn down some years ago. You can see a 2009 photo of the school before it burned on this Flickr page, and compare it to Terry’s first photo below which is from a similar angle. Another North Dakota place which will soon be only a memory.

Munster School, Munster, North Dakota

Update: We found ourselves passing through Munster again and, as expected, the school had deteriorated even more.

Munster School, Munster, North Dakota

Munster School, Munster, North Dakota



Munster School, Munster, North Dakota

Munster School, Munster, North Dakota

 

Munster School, Munster, North Dakota

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

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Blanchard and a Really Big Stick

Blanchard and a Really Big Stick

Blanchard is a small town in Traill county about a half hour north of Fargo.  Our Facebook fans warned us that there wasn’t much of a historic nature left to photograph, and they were right.  Linda Grotberg commented: “Blanchard, is another reason why your “ghost project” is so important! The two churches, Seim’s Store, Wally’s garage, Blanchard #1 (although the school bld is still there used as a house) Grandma Hazel’s house, the old bank building….all part of mine and my Mother’s childhood….gone forever!”

Troy stopped in and got the photo below.

Nearby is the KVLY TV antenna which was for decades the tallest structure on Earth at 2063 feet tall.  It’s status as the world’s tallest structure was finally surpassed with the construction of Burj Khalifa in Dubai.  However, the antenna remains as the tallest structure in the western hemisphere, and the third tallest structure on earth.  The Tokyo Skytree, completed in 2011, is second.  On a clear day, you can see this mast from 20 miles away.

Photos by Troy, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy

The First Day of Fall

The First Day of Fall

The first day of fall in North Dakota. The calendar says it happens at the same time every year, but the truth is much different. In North Dakota, by the time fall officially arrives, the leaves have already been falling for weeks, accumulating into entrancing swirls of yellow and red. The air gets brisk and has a refreshing smell.  And the change in temperature signals a new season about to begin. Homeowners decorate their property in the colors of the season. Pumpkins appear on doorsteps. Halloween will soon be upon us. Unfortunately, like fall, winter will probably be upon us prematurely. The first snow will likely be on the ground before the calendar announces winter’s official arrival.  But for now, it’s autumn.

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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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Sheyenne River Academy

Sheyenne River Academy

Sheyenne River Academy opened its doors on this site north of Harvey in 1904 and was in operation until the end of the 1976 school year.  It was a Seventh Day Adventist secondary school.  The new location known as Dakota Adventist Academy opened in 1977 near Bismarck.

 

Sheyenne River Academy

The present owner of the property is using the grounds and the buildings for horses and other livestock.  We knocked on a few doors at a nearby home in an attempt to get permission to go inside, but we were not able to find anyone around.  So we snapped a few quick photos and left, hoping to return some time in the future when we can get permission.

There are four buildings in the academy facility, but you can barely see it from the road. The main gate is fenced and no longer used.

Sheyenne River Academy

Someone has knocked out a window just to the left of the entrance to make it possible to park a vehicle inside the building.

Sheyenne River Academy

Do you have our hardcover photo book, Churches of the High Plains?

Sheyenne River Academy

Sheyenne River Academy has a Facebook page here, and you can read more about the history of the academy here.

Sheyenne River Academy

Sheyenne River Academy

Sheyenne River Academy

Note the dirt ramp on the front steps.

Sheyenne River Academy

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

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy