Vintage View of Bismarck, Dakota Territory, 1883 ?>

Vintage View of Bismarck, Dakota Territory, 1883

In 1883, Bismarck had only been “Bismarck” for ten years, having existed first as a tiny frontier settlement called Missouri Crossing, then as Edwinton, until 1873. Bismarck assumed an important place in the history of the American west when it supplanted Yankton as the capital of Dakota Territory in 1883. Settlers were soon streaming in. Here’s a vintage view of Bismarck circa 1883 in the form of a lithograph from the JJ Stoner Company of Madison, Wisconsin. The size of…

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St. Joseph’s Catholic Church from 1895 ?>

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church from 1895

Terry has family in northeast North Dakota and managed to duck out of holiday festivities long enough to photograph this place in 2014 — St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Leroy, North Dakota. Leroy is in Pembina County, about ten miles northwest of Cavalier. Terry was told they stopped holding regular services here about a decade ago. This church is featured in our fourth hardcover coffee table book, Churches of the High Plains. A small community center and auditorium. This area…

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Memories of Silver City Ghost Town ?>

Memories of Silver City Ghost Town

Ghost towns come in all varieties, and their abandonment happens for a multitude of reasons. Common on the upper plains are railroad ghost towns, places that vanished when the automobile became the norm. There are natural disaster ghost towns, like Mose, ND, and industrial disaster ghost towns like Picher, OK. Silver City, North Dakota is another variety of ghost town — a settlement abandoned at the completion of an infrastructure project which employed most of the residents. In this case,…

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Forgotten Minot Church ?>

Forgotten Minot Church

This vacant church stood at the corner of Broadway and 4th Ave NW in Minot, at the bottom of North Broadway, right across the street from Sammy’s Pizza. ¬†It was locked-up and posted, so we weren’t able to go inside, but by all outward appearances, this place was largely forgotten. We photographed this place on the spur of the moment on a Saturday morning, and I found myself wondering and thinking about it for the rest of the day. In…

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Beaver Township School ?>

Beaver Township School

This is the Beaver Township Country School/Township Hall, on Mud Lake in Benson County, about 23 miles southeast of Rugby, just a short drive south of York, North Dakota. The location of this school, right on the water, is very beautiful, however, there were 40 mph wind gusts the day we visited, making it a very chilly visit, indeed. Terry and I were both reminded what it must have been like to attend school in a little building like this…

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Back to Balfour ?>

Back to Balfour

We visited Balfour in November of 2014, nine years after our first visit, to get some photos of all the things we missed the first time. We actually tried to revisit Balfour in 2012, but a road construction crew had traffic at a complete stop on Highway 52, complicating our travel schedule, and we decided to wait until another time, so it was nice to finally get back there. Most notably, Balfour has this abandoned church standing right along Highway…

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Two Minutes Until Winter ?>

Two Minutes Until Winter

It was November 7th, 2014 and it was two minutes until winter in Josephine, North Dakota when we briefly braved forty mile per hour winds to get the photos you see here. I consulted Douglas Wick’s North Dakota Place Names book, which says Josephine, North Dakota was founded in 1901 on the site of an earlier pioneer settlement known as Genin. Josephine was named for Josephine Lindstrom Stickelberger, one of North Dakota’s first female physicians. It had a population of…

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Immanuel Lutheran Church ?>

Immanuel Lutheran Church

As we ventured toward Minot for a book signing event, we decided we would try to sneak in some shooting time at a few different locations along the drive, but this was not a place we knew about beforehand — we just happened to drive right by it, on highway 30 in Albert Township, just north of Maddock, North Dakota and couldn’t pass up such a picturesque¬†church. This is the former Immanuel Lutheran Church. Founded in 1887 and closed “in…

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