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Category: Sherbrooke, ND

Steele County
Vacant as of 10/03

Sherbrooke Cemetery

Sherbrooke Cemetery

We shot these photos of Sherbrooke Cemetery during a visit to the nearby ghost town and namesake, Sherbrooke, North Dakota, in Steele County in October of 2013.

Sherbrooke, North DakotaThe Oxton family name was common in this cemetery.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

This cemetery was established in 1899 by Sherbrooke Methodist Church which has long since vanished from the town site.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

The Hildebrandt family.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Look at those birth dates. These are some of the oldest headstones we’ve seen for such a nice, easily-accessible cemetery. Many times you don’t see the really old ones unless you visit a derelict cemetery.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

This child’s gravesite had a simple metal nameplate that had only the letters DRAEN on it.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

The Verwest family plot.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

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

Return to Sherbrooke

Return to Sherbrooke

Sherbrooke, North Dakota is in Steele County and it is a true ghost town with no population.  Sherbrooke was the first totally abandoned town we ever visited back in 2003, at a time when we didn’t even have proper cameras — we just videotaped a walkthrough and then took screen capture photos.  A decade later, nature has continued unwaveringly to reclaim this place.

When we moved south of the main road through Sherbrooke, we realized we had not paid close enough attention to the ruins there when we visited a decade ago.  A large building once stood there, and today the field stone foundation remains with some intriguing artifacts within.  We’ll detail that in the captions below.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

This old Studebaker with suicide doors sits in a field.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

This is the former home of Arlene Carpenter and it was the last occupied home in Sherbrooke until it was abandoned sometime in the 1980s — EDIT: perhaps into the nineties (see comments below).

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

The front porch has collapsed.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Inside the garage

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

If you’ve looked at many of the galleries on this site, you know we occasionally give reminders on the real danger of walking around in abandoned townsites, and this is a prime example. This well is deep, and full of water — and it’s about a thirty foot drop before you hit the water. If you fell in this headfirst, you would drown before anybody could get you out.  Someone thoughtfully threw an old gate over the opening.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Someone broke a car window a long time ago.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke was once the county seat of Steele County before having it snatched away by business people who saw fit to move the seat somewhere more significant — Sherbrooke had neither a railroad or a navigable river.  Sherbrooke’s residents fought it all the way to the North Dakota Supreme Court, but eventually lost, and the county seat was moved to Finley (also home to an abandoned Air Force Station). However, the ruins of this building on the south side of the road seem to be something of some importance, a building representative of a place that was once an important seat of government in the 1880s and 90s.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

At first we wondered whether this may have been a courthouse.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

It appears it was field stone on the bottom with brick on top.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

This one charred timber told us a fire was responsible for the demise of this place.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Terry reminded me of the story of the Sherbrooke House Hotel which once stood in Sherbrooke, a place where President McKinley stayed in 1896 during a trip to visit North Dakota.  So when Terry spotted the bed frames shown above in the ruins of this building, we couldn’t help but wonder if this was the ruins of the Sherbrooke House Hotel.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

As we were walking around in these ruins, whoa, another open hole in the ground.  It looked like a sewer main that once served whatever structure was here.  One more hazard that could catch you off guard and cause you to break an ankle or tweak a knee.  If you choose this as a hobby, please be careful.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

This pink home is the only other structure still standing in Sherbooke, and it might be the most completely overrun home of any we’ve seen. Trees and weeds and vines have completely covered and infiltrated this place.  We had to do some pretty extensive ducking of dense brush to get close enough for photos.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Exploring this lot in Sherbrooke is a little like a nightmare where you’re in a forest and the branches continually reach out for you, tugging at your clothes, threatening to sweep you away in an instant. The silence and remote location juxtaposed with images like the playhouse above with decorative curtains hanging in the window combine to create an eerie feeling in Sherbrooke.  Terry and I both felt it.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

The floor inside the pink house is barely distinguishable from the ground outside.

Sherbrooke, North Dakota

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

Sherbrooke, ND

Sherbrooke, ND

Steele County
Vacant as of 10/03

Sherbrooke was plotted in 1884 by Dustin P. Baldwin, and named after Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. Although rumors of a railroad line surfaced several times, the line never materialized and Sherbrooke quickly declined.

Sherbrooke was once the county seat of Steele County. The only population figures we have on Sherbrooke are from 1895, with a population of 144.

Most of the landscape is very overgrown and quickly being reclaimed by nature. The overgrowth was so dense, we could barely see this pink house from the road, even considering we visited in fall and most of the leaf cover was gone!

The red house pictured below is the largest building still standing in Sherbrooke. It’s the former home of Arlene Carpenter and it looked like it was the most recently occupied. It had several outbuildings including a garage, a barn, and a stable.

The relatively modern construction of the houses in Sherbrooke, and the ruined condition of the older structures, would suggest it’s a second generation ghost town. Vacated, re-inhabited at some point, and then abandoned again.

Sherbrooke’s most famous former resident would be the late Clarence Norman Brunsdale, both Governor and US Senator between the years of 1951 and 1960. He was born in Sherbrooke in 1891.

Sherbrooke was one of the first ghost towns we ever visited. We hadn’t yet perfected our photography methods and so we intend to make a return trip one day and take better pictures.

Sorry, no photo enlargements available for Sherbrooke.

**Source Material – North Dakota Place Names – Douglas Wick