• Watrous, North Dakota

    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. Photos by Nate Reynolds Original content copyright Sonic Tremor […]

  • Buford, North Dakota

    Buford, North Dakota

    Kyle Stubbs sent in the following photos and comments on Buford, North Dakota. Thought I’d pass along for Ghosts of North Dakota a few photos I took in May of 2011 of what remains of Buford, North Dakota, on the western edge of the state in Williams County. Also included is what I believe is […]

  • DeSart, North Dakota

    The Last of DeSart, North Dakota

    In 2004, a visitor to our website suggested a list of places we should investigate in the southwest corner of the state, a list I recall mostly from memory — DeSart, Pierce, Shollsmade, Hume, Ranger, Mound, Bessie. Back then, we had very little luck finding much on many of these places. Most of them were […]

  • Thelen, North Dakota

    Abandoned: Thelen, North Dakota

    Thelen, North Dakota, sometimes spelled Thelan, is a blip on the historical record of our state. It was established in 1916 and had a post office for just a year, from 1920 to 1921, with Troy E. Beach as the postmaster. Thelen’s peak population of 20 dropped to 4 by the 1930s. North Dakota Place […]

  • Hesper, North Dakota

    True Ghost Towns: Population Zero

    Defining what exactly constitutes a “ghost town” can sometimes be tricky.  In our ten years of exploring North Dakota’s abandoned places, we’ve often encountered former towns where the town site itself is empty, but there’s a farm about half a mile down the road.  Sometimes a former town like Sims, North Dakota has an active […]

  • North Dakota Cyclone, 1895

    North Dakota Cyclone, 1895

    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 […]

  • Grasshopper Plague

    The Grasshopper Plague

    The 1930s could be described as a perfect storm of hardship in America. The Great Depression devastated the national economy and job market and a persistent drought compounded matters in the Midwest and contributed to the Black Blizzards of the Dust Bowl era. The skies from Texas to the Canadian plains were sometimes so dark, […]

  • Russell Lee, Highway Number 2, North Dakota

    Dust Bowl North Dakota

    Russell Lee was a trained chemical engineer who passed on a career in the field in favor of art. He is best known for the incredible number of photographs he took during the Dust Bowl for the Farm Security Administration.  Mr. Lee spent a good portion of 1937 in North Dakota photographing families, farms and […]

  • Lincoln Valley, North Dakota

    The Ruins of Lincoln Valley, North Dakota

    Lincoln Valley, North Dakota is in its last days.  The structures that remain standing are largely in tenuous shape, might stand another few decades at best, and they’re far outnumbered by places long gone.  Browsing through our Lincoln Valley archive, we realized we had a lot of photos we’d never posted before, particularly photos of […]

  • Sherbrooke, North Dakota

    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. This cemetery was established in 1899 by Sherbrooke Methodist Church which has long since vanished from the town site. The Oxton family name was common in this cemetery. […]

Kintyre, ND

Kintyre, ND

Kintyre, North Dakota is a small town in Emmons County, about 45 miles southeast of Bismarck.  It is an unincorporated community of perhaps 50 residents.  The name, Kintyre, is a reference to the Kintyre peninsula in Scotland, derived from the clan McKintyre.  Kintyre was originally called Campbell after two brothers who first farmed the area. […]

Sanger, ND

Sanger: No Longer a Ghost Town

Nine years after our first visit to Sanger, North Dakota, we returned to see how things had changed.  Imagine our surprise when we discovered Sanger is no longer a true ghost town.  There had been no population when we visited in 2004, but today, Sanger is inhabited by two men, Ron and Dan, who moved […]

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

Sterling School 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. […]

Arena, ND

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 […]

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 […]

Weiser 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 visited on Memorial Weekend of 2013, and in the coat room, we discovered a log book. The first entry on the log book […]

Eldridge, ND

Eldridge, ND

Located in Stutsman County just a few minutes west of Jamestown, Eldridge is a very small community of perhaps a dozen residents. Eldridge began as Burton in 1879 but was renamed in honor of a local Bonanza farmer a year later. At one time, Eldridge was home to nearly 100 residents. We originally became aware […]

Clear Lake School

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 […]

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 […]