Arena: Nine Years Later

Arena: Nine Years Later

We first visited Arena in May of 2004.  Nine years later, we returned to this rolling spot on the prairie in Burleigh County and found things much the same, if somewhat weathered. St. John’s Lutheran church still stands, though the white paint has weathered considerably over the last nine years.  The cinderblock foundation on the east side of the church has continued to crumble, and will likely cause the church to topple into its own basement eventually.  The outhouse out…

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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…

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

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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…

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Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

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

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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…

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Olga, ND

Olga, ND

This is Olga, North Dakota, a near-ghost town in northern North Dakota — the oldest settlement in Cavalier County having been established in 1882 as St. Pierre.  Olga once had nearly 100 residents but underwent a slow decline over several decades.  Today, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart church is the most impressive local landmark.  These shots were captured by Terry in 2006. Photos by Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Flora, ND

Flora, ND

Flora, North Dakota is in Benson County, about 40 miles southwest of Devils Lake. According to North Dakota Place Names by Douglas A. Wick, it’s an unincorporated community which had only 8 residents as of 1982. Former resident Kevin K. tells us there are now three remaining residents. Flora had a Post Office for 70 years, from 1901 to 1971, when it was closed and mail went to Maddock. Flora was originally known as Schuyler. We took these photos in…

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More Bentley

More Bentley

These photos have been in our archive since we visited Hettinger County in 2007 and we are posting them here for the first time.  The church shown below has since partially collapsed. Bentley was founded by Arthur A. Bentley who, after moving from Eden Valley, Minnesota, started a photography business in Fargo in the 1890s.  In 1907 he moved to Hettinger County and founded the town of Bentley.  Someone has started a Bentley webpage where you can read more, and…

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More from Silva, ND

More from Silva, ND

These photos of Silva, in Pierce County west of Devils Lake, were taken in April of 2006. In 2014, a site visitor reported the population of Silva had sunk to 3 residents. This church is Silva Lutheran. We’re told the first wedding conducted in this church was the ceremony of Oliver and Elaine (Dokken) Solheim, December 29th, 1941. These photos are extras which have been in our archive and are being posted here for the first time.  You can see our…

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Fillmore’s Lost Legacy

Fillmore’s Lost Legacy

A half dozen structures or more have been lost to fires of questionable origin in Fillmore in recent years, a story which we addressed here.  As a result, we went back into our photo archive and chose to add to the site these photos, which we’ve never before posted. Most of what you see here is now gone.   This building is now gone. The rail line which once ran past Fillmore went right through this cut in the ridgeline….

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Manfred’s Hotel Johnson, Then and Now

Manfred’s Hotel Johnson, Then and Now

We revisited Manfred last summer for the first time in six years and found some things had changed for the better.  Look at the Hotel Johnson in 2006 compared to how it looks now… the residents of Manfred have made amazing progress on the old hotel. Copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Nome School: Then and Now

Nome School: Then and Now

Nome School in Barnes County — 1919 and 2005. Animation by Troy Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Vintage Nome Postcards

Vintage Nome Postcards

We found a couple of vintage Nome postcards at an antique store not too long ago, including a postcard of the now-abandoned Nome School in Barnes County which we snapped on a whim while passing through Nome in 2005. We had to make some guesses on this card due to the handwriting — This postcard was sent on September 24th, 1919 from Laura Sigurdson to Miss Signe Bratt (who was a teacher herself in Northfield) in Lawton, North Dakota.  It reads…

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San Haven Postcard 1940

San Haven Postcard 1940

I found this postcard in a box at an antique store.  It’s a postcard of San Haven Sanatorium in 1940.  I was impressed that this postcard shows an overview of the grounds including the beautiful gardens and water feature which are now completely dry and overgrown. This postcard was sent by someone named Olga, who must have been visiting a patient named Hilda, to Mrs. Harold Wendt in Columbia, Wisconsin on February 19th, 1940.  It reads: Dear Mabel, How are you all?…

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Balfour Public School

Balfour Public School

This is the former Balfour Public School.  It was built sometime between 1899 and 1910.  Other than that, we know very little about this school, or what happened to it.  If you know more about this school, we would invite you to click on the photo below and add your comments on the ensuing page.  Note the former Balfour church in the background. We found this postcard going through some old files but we have no record of who sent…

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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. The postcard above was sent to Miss Margaret Kelly in Detroit, Michigan in February of either…

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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…

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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…

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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….

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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. Here is an…

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Kongsberg, ND

Kongsberg, ND

Kongsberg, North Dakota is a tiny near-ghost town in McHenry County, just a few miles east of another near-ghost town, Ruso.  Originally dubbed Olivia, the name changed to Kongsberg in 1916.  The population of Kongsberg never exceeded 50.  Kongsberg’s church celebrated their 100th anniversary on July 1st, 2012. This was actually the second town in North Dakota named Kongsberg.  The first Kongsberg was near Abercrombie, but their Post Office closed in 1905. If you know anything about Kongsberg’s present status……

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The Bucyrus Fire Relief Effort

The Bucyrus Fire Relief Effort

Bucyrus, North Dakota was decimated by a wind-driven wildfire on October 17th, 2012.  Nearly all of Bucyrus was lost in the fire.  Thankfully, two dozen residents of Bucyrus were evacuated before the fire and there were no injuries.  However, Bucyrus’ residents have lost their homes and possessions. We spoke with Adams county emergency management and they provided us with the following relief information.  Please do what you can to help these families in their recovery effort. Monetary donations can be…

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Another Look at Hanks

Another Look at Hanks

Clif Nelson contributed these photos of Hanks, North Dakota, a near-ghost town in Williams County — population one. Clif’s comments: “It was never much of a town, but they had coal mines north of town and grain elevatorsin the early 1900’s.  My Grandfather Anton Nelson who farmed about 7 miles northwest of Hanks would haul a load of grain in and haul coal home from the mines just north of the town of Hanks.  They had a bank at one time, and…

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Return to Fillmore

Return to Fillmore

We first visited Fillmore in 2006 and we were completely blown away. Fillmore was one of the most impressive near-ghost towns we had ever been to. At the time, there just a couple of part-time residents, and more than a dozen abandoned structures including a bar, a store, a community hall/gymnasium, an auto shop, and numerous homes. For some time, we had known the gymnasium had been listed for sale. In summer of 2012, we started hearing from people who…

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Haunting and Abandoned San Haven Sanatorium

Haunting and Abandoned San Haven Sanatorium

San Haven Sanatorium is a former tuberculosis sanatorium in the foothills of the Turtle Mountains, a few minutes north of Dunseith. Thousands of TB patients received treatment here between 1909 and the end of the TB endemic in the 1940’s. Prior to the advent of antibiotics which brought tuberculosis under control, roughly 50 percent of TB patients died from the disease. A common remedy at the time was to surgically collapse a lung. One can scarcely imagine the suffering that took…

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Autumn in Ghost Town Hesper, North Dakota

Autumn in Ghost Town Hesper, North Dakota

Hesper, North Dakota is a town that had been on our radar for some time but we never had an opportunity to check it out.  In the summer of 2012, Philip Tron emailed to tell us Hesper had officially become a ghost town and submitted a few photos.  After seeing them, we made it a priority to stop in and snap some shots. On arrival in Hesper, we were struck by the silence.  It was indeed a true ghost town,…

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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…

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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

Calvin, ND

Calvin, ND

Calvin is a near-ghost town in Cavalier county, not far from the Canadian border.  It was founded in 1902 as a stop on the Great Northern Railroad, and swelled to 350 residents at its peak. Today, Calvin is home to about 20 residents. I found these photos on a disc Terry gave me back in 2006, but I was unsure where they were taken.  Based on the photos of the Corinthian Lodge and time stamp on the photos, I came…

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