Arena in 1992

Arena in 1992

Arena was only the second true ghost town we ever visited, back in 2004.  At that time, the school had already been torn down and we were never able to locate some large photos of it, until now. Thanks to these photos contributed by Dale Fisher, we can now see Arena as it looked in 1992.  There are a few interesting comparisons to be made with our photos from 2004: In the photo above, we can see a small home which…

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A Fever for Drive-In Theaters

A Fever for Drive-In Theaters

After we posted our photos of Stardust 17 Drive-In in Grafton, it became pretty clear that you were bitten by the Drive-In bug, because we got lots of comments, questions, and emails about Drive-In Theaters. As we mentioned in that post, there are no remaining operating drive-in theaters in the state of North Dakota — the last was Lake Park Drive-In in Williston, which closed in 2012. Here is a larger list which includes open drive-in theaters within reasonable driving distance of North Dakota. …

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Bartlett… Almost Gone

Bartlett… Almost Gone

Bartlett is about twenty miles east of Devils Lake and is about as close as you can get to ghost town without actually being totally abandoned… there is perhaps one occupied property, and we saw the remains of several crumbling homes.  The former town site is quickly getting overrun by nature — the roads are shaded even on a bright day like this one. As we drove into town, untrimmed branches reached into the road to greet us, nearly touching…

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Passing Through Fordville

Passing Through Fordville

Fordville just happened to be on our route as we explored a few towns in Walsh and Ramsey counties.  It is not a ghost town or a near-ghost town… more like Pleasantville.  According to the 2000 Census, Fordville had 266 residents, shrinking to 212 in 2010. The most prominent landmark was the Ford Theater, a beautiful brick building that’s been carefully tended, but in need of help with the roof. The owner kindly posted a flyer which reads as follows: FORD…

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Mondry Elevator in Ardoch

Mondry Elevator in Ardoch

We stopped in Ardoch primarily to photograph the elevator which Terry had been wanting to shoot for some time.  We drove into town past the city hall and a little yapper dog promptly ran right in front of Terry’s car and stopped.  He just stood there staring at us.  So Terry started to back up, and a second dog joined the first in circling around his car.  We were kinda stuck, not able to go forward or backward very quickly…

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Jailbreak in Conway

Jailbreak in Conway

Conway is a near-ghost town in Walsh County, southwest of Grafton.  Conway’s peak population was reported in the 1900 census as 216.  Today the population is 23. On September 7th, 1897, the New York Times published the following story: KILLED TRYING TO ESCAPE Tramps Imprisoned in Conway Set Fire to Jail Fargo, ND. Sept 6th — The city marshal and a posse, after a hard fight, captured three tramps who had robbed several stores at Conway, a small town in western…

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Stardust 17 Drive-In

Stardust 17 Drive-In

In the course of his travels, Terry stumbled upon the Stardust 17 Drive-In on the west side of Grafton.  The Stardust held 300 cars and hosted movie showings for decades. According to one online account, the Stardust 17’s screen blew down in a windstorm in October of 1991.  There were some initial discussions about getting the drive-in going again, but cost put the brakes on a recovery.  When we visited in 2011, the theater had been idle for years. We found the…

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Nekoma Safeguard Complex

Nekoma Safeguard Complex

The Nekoma Safeguard Complex is a unique place in the history of the US military’s anti-ballistic missile effort.  A portion of the Wikipedia entry for this place: The Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard complex in Nekoma, North Dakota, with the separate long-range detection radar located further north near the town of Cavalier, North Dakota, was the only operational anti-ballistic missile system ever deployed by the United States. It defended Minuteman ICBM missile silos near the Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota. It…

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Nekoma, ND

Nekoma, ND

Nekoma’s population was 50 in the 2010 Census, slightly more populous than most of the towns we photograph.  At the same time, there were a few cool abandoned structures and/or throwback reminders to simpler days… like the little orange gas pumps.  Since we were in the area to photograph the Safeguard Missile Complex, we decided to take a few shots in Nekoma.  It’s a fun town to photograph. A nice small town post office still operates in Nekoma. Excuse some…

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Fairview Lift Bridge and Cartwright Tunnel

Fairview Lift Bridge and Cartwright Tunnel

Thank you to R. David Adams for submitting these photos of the Fairview Lift Bridge and the accompanying Cartwright Tunnel, between Cartwright, North Dakota and Fairview, Montana.  This bridge is frequently confused with the Snowden Bridge, a few miles away in Montana, partly due to a similar history (each bridge has only been raised once) and construction. However, this bridge is distinct from the Snowden bridge when the Cartwright tunnel is taken into account.  To our knowledge, the tunnel is…

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Erie, ND

Erie, ND

Erie is a small near-ghost town in Cass County, about 45 minutes northwest of Fargo.  We visited Erie during a trip to nearby Brewer Lake, also known as Erie Dam State Recreation area due to the small earthen dam which created Brewer Lake.  It’s a very nice, out-of-the-way campground that gets little traffic if you’re looking for a nice little spot to relax. This is the now-vacant Erie State Bank building. This is the earthen dam at Brewer Lake, about…

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Aylmer, ND

Aylmer, ND

Sara Schindler of Harvey contributed these photos of Aylmer with the following comments: Aylmer sits about 40 miles south/southwest of Rugby ND (or just northeast of Anamoose ND) along the Burlington Northern Railroad.  It is currently home to two residents.  Aside from the residence, there sits a former general store (the larger building), a garage or storage shed, an abandoned home, and another building that was possibly some kind of blacksmith or other repair shop (there are also a few…

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Eastedge: Six Years Later

Eastedge: Six Years Later

On our way home from the south-central part of North Dakota, we stopped in Eastedge for a visit — six years to the month after our first trip there. As we mentioned after our first visit, Eastedge has a somewhat haunting history, and the weather was appropriately murky. Is it just a coincidence that when we returned, the weather was again spooky? Eastedge was almost gone when we visited in 2005, and it’s one step closer today. The white house…

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Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia is a small town in Logan county, about 80 miles southeast of Bismarck.  We had not intended to stop in Fredonia, but we saw a few buildings we wanted to photograph, so we made a quick stop. Occasionally, residents (or former-residents) of some of the towns featured on this site to take offense when we post photos of and/or talk about their town. We have encountered several visitors who are clearly offended that we have chosen to feature Fredonia on…

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Hensel, North Dakota: A Town with Two Names

Hensel, North Dakota: A Town with Two Names

We made a quick stop in Hensel during our visit to Pembina County in 2006.  Due to time constraints we were unable to explore Hensel as thoroughly as we would have liked, but we did capture these photos. Hensel is located in Pembina County, about eight miles southwest of Cavalier.  As of 2010, Hensel had a population of 45. We were unable to find a reference to Hensel in the 2010 North Dakota Census, and we assumed it had been…

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Balfour in Winter

Balfour in Winter

Ria Cabral sent a few winter shots of Balfour. See more of her work at http://riacabralphotography.blogspot.com. To see photos from our trip to Balfour, click here. Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Stady in 1915

Stady in 1915

Steve Ray contributed the following postcard of Stady. Steve writes: It was mailed in June 1915 from Clara Leraas, who lived with her family a couple miles east of Stady, to her mother-in-law, Martha Leraas of Barrett, MN. To see our main Stady Gallery with photos contributed my Mariah Masilko, click here. Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

More Photos of Ambrose

More Photos of Ambrose

Laura Enerson Castro contributed these photos of Ambrose.  A few of her comments are listed as captions. To see photos from our trip to Ambrose, click here. Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Berlin, North Dakota, 2011

Berlin, North Dakota, 2011

Berlin is located in a sparsely populated region of south-central North Dakota, about 50 miles south southeast of Jamestown. Sabrina Hornung contributed these photos of Berlin. (In 2015, Sabrina became the Editor of the High Plains Reader in Fargo. Tweet her via HPR here.) “I have included photos from Berlin ND. According to Wikipedia there were 35 people living in Berlin according to the 2000 Census. I stumbled upon an old blacksmith shop and everything was in tact except for the…

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San Haven Sanatorium

San Haven Sanatorium

San Haven is located just a few miles northeast of Dunseith. It was founded in 1909 as a Tuberculosis Sanatorium and later became a hospital for the developmentally disabled. Over the years, San Haven grew into a huge complex of structures complete with underground tunnels to connect the complex. It was so large, it was given it’s own zip code. At one time, San Haven held over 900 patients. The San Haven facility closed in 1989.  More reading on the…

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Omemee: Now and Then

Omemee: Now and Then

After visiting in 2004, contributor Mark Johnson made a followup visit to Omemee. We were able to match Mark’s photo of the Superintendent’s house with an old postcard. The picture says it all… there’s not much time for Omemee. Mark’s comments: “Attached are a couple updated photos of the “superintendent’s house” in Omemee from last October… the house has seriously deteriorated further since I was there originally. The whole front of the house has collapsed.” Click here to see the…

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Flaxton, ND

Flaxton, ND

Tom Pence sent us the following photos of Flaxton, ND. Flaxton is in the northwestern part of North Dakota, just miles from the Canadian border. Although Flaxton is not a ghost town (it still harbors a population of 66), there are quite a few abandoned structures. Original Content Copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Kloten, ND

Kloten, ND

Kloten is in Nelson County, situated about forty miles south of Highway 2, about halfway between Devils Lake and Grand Forks. Accurate population figures are difficult to find. Kloten’s population was reported at a suspiciously round number of 150 for many years, however our census records going back as far as 1960 do not include population reports for Kloten. Nathan Mastrud contributed these photos of Kloten with the following comments: Sign leading to Kloten reads “Dead End” but it still…

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Vanished: Pelto, North Dakota

Vanished: Pelto, North Dakota

Pelto, North Dakota is a town that no longer exists, except in the memory of those who grew up here. Located in Nelson County, between Grand Forks and Devils Lake, Pelto is an example of a settlement that has vanished with the railroad transportation culture that birthed it. In the era of the steam locomotive, there was a town every eight miles along the track, where engines could stop and refill their water tanks. Today, the tracks still pass just…

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Bordulac, ND

Bordulac, ND

Thank you to Dustin Person and Durton Koble for contributing these photos of Bordulac. Dustin’s comments: I was really surprised by this town as well, the population is around 15-20, and the elevator and bar & grill are the only businesses in town. The white building was the Bordulac Hall. The reddish building was the Carrington train station I believe, and it must have been moved the 9 miles to Bordulac. Click Here to see our photo of Bordulac Bank,…

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Clyde, ND

Clyde, ND

Cavalier County Inhabited as of 6/10 Clyde is a near ghost town in Cavalier County near the Canadian border.  As of 2002, Clyde reportedly had six residents, quite possibly fewer today. It is no longer listed in the US Census. Thank you to Miranda Schuler of Upload Photography for contributing these photos. Her comments: I found a diamond in the rough over the weekend and will get some pictures to you guys shortly. I asked my father-in-law if he knew…

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Souris, ND

Souris, ND

Thank you to Miranda Schuler of Upload Photography for contributing these photos of Souris. Miranda’s comments: Souris didn’t have as much to offer as I was hoping for. I remember as a chld going to the school auction when they closed it down, and there were few people in the town. However, with the increased oil activity, it’s actually a got very few abandoned buildings. I took some pics of the bank and the old school though. My folks have…

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Lunds Valley School

Lunds Valley School

Wylora Christianson submitted the following photo of the Lunds Valley School as it appeared years ago, long before it burned.  To see photos from our visit to Lunds Valley, click here. CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE

Heaton – Six Years Later

Heaton – Six Years Later

Wells County Inhabited as of 5/10 We returned to Heaton nearly six years after our first trip in 2004. How things have changed. CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE This is an animation showing the former Heaton Bank and the Hawks of Heaton Gift Shop (which we believe may have been the Post Office at one time as well).  As you can see, sometime between 2004 and 2010, the structures have disappeared.  we don’t know what happened to them.  Several homes which…

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Storm Clouds in Larson, North Dakota

Storm Clouds in Larson, North Dakota

Larson is a near-ghost town in Burke County, about 38 miles northwest of Kenmare, or sixty miles northeast of Williston. It was established in 1907 and had a peak population of 114 in 1920. Larson, and the nearby town of Columbus, were named for Columbus Larson, an early postmaster.  There’s a good-sized concentration of residents with Scandinavian heritage in the area. US Census Data for Larson Total Population by Place 1960 – 62 1970 – 35 1980 – 21 2000…

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