• gascoyne-feature

    Gascoyne, Eight Years Later

    Gascoyne is on the east edge of Bowman County, in southwest North Dakota, about fifty-five miles south of Dickinson. The town, not far from the South Dakota border, was first called Fischbein, after a family who settled the area, but the name was changed to Gascoyne in 1908. According to the 2010 Census, there are […]

  • Adelaide Township School

    Little School on the Prairie

    This little school is in Adelaide Township, Bowman County, just off Rhame Road, just a few miles south of Rhame, North Dakota. It is a particularly beautiful example of a two-room prairie schoolhouse in a very sparsely populated part of the state. We’ve found it somewhat rare to find a little school on the prairie like […]

  • Old Marmarth Road

    The Badlands of Old Marmarth Road

    In July of 2015, we visited Marmarth, North Dakota and had plans to proceed from there to Ollie, Montana to photograph the former school (it was no longer standing) on the way to the prairie ghost town of Carlyle, Montana. Our route of choice was Old Highway 16, also referred to as Old Marmarth Road. […]

  • Heil, North Dakota

    Dodging Thunderstorms in Heil

    Our journey to Heil, North Dakota, in Grant County, about fifty miles southwest of Mandan, took place on an evening when the forecast said there was a chance of scattered thunderstorms in the area. We got more than we bargained for and ended up driving through a pounding thunderstorm with rain coming down in torrents. […]

  • North Grand Church and Cemetery

    The Majestic and Abandoned North Grand Church

    The majestic and abandoned North Grand Church is in Adams County, ten miles southwest of Hettinger and just a mile north of the South Dakota border. It served this barely-populated part of the county for sixty years, from 1909 to 1969. I would describe this church as brick, although I’m not sure that’s the correct […]

  • wolf-family

    The Wolf Family Murders

    One of the worst crimes in state history occurred April 22, 1920 on a farm just north of Turtle Lake. For historical context, automobiles were still a rarity in rural North Dakota at the time, prohibition had just gone into effect, and a national system of roads was yet to emerge. Neighbors knew each other. […]

  • murdered-family

    The Murdered Family

    The Murdered Family (softcover, 347 pages) by Vernon Keel. Based on a true story about the mass murder of the Wolf family, The Murdered Family raises questions about the guilt of the man convicted of the crime. A wave of fear sweeps across the barren prairies of central North Dakota in April of 1920 with […]

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Leith, North Dakota

Leith, North Dakota After the Turmoil

We first visited Leith, North Dakota, in Grant County, about fifty miles southwest of Mandan, in May of 2007. We had heard that it was a shrinking rural community with a few abandoned places to photograph, and we found that to be true, but we could not have known that Leith would become a place […]


Ghosts of North Dakota is Vanishing

If you’re one of the 112-thousand people who follow Ghosts of North Dakota on Facebook, you may have noticed that you’re not seeing us in your news feed much any more. There’s a reason for that, and it is prompting changes we’d like you to know about. Over the last two years, Facebook has implemented […]


Tonset Lutheran: The Church on the Hill

We got these photos of Tonset Lutheran Church, near Lignite, from Dave Ramsey, who says: Found this church near Lignite, ND. Open the door and walk on in. Sign a guest register and look around. The place was dusty and covered with dead flies. Other than that it looked you could hold a service there […]


Inside Sheyenne River Academy

We visited the former Sheyenne River Academy, in Wells County just a few miles northeast of Harvey, in 2012. We were unable to find anybody at home when we visited, so we were unable to get permission to go inside. However, John Mosher recently posted some photos of the abandoned remains of Sheyenne River Academy […]


Order Churches of the High Plains

Churches of the High Plains is a 120 page, hardcover, coffee table book featuring photos of churches, both active and abandoned, across the High Plains of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Manitoba. Churches of the High Plains is part travelogue, part photo essay, and all history appreciation, and includes comments from the photographers, historical tidbits, […]

President Roosevelt Visits Dust Bowl North Dakota

The Dust Bowl was a contributing factor in the abandonment of farms and rural towns in North Dakota during the 1930s, a subject we’ve covered before. Western North Dakota was particularly hard hit, documented in these photos of Grassy Butte. In 1936, the American economy was struggling to recover from the Great Depression. The Depression […]


Doctor Dibb’s Lost Gold Mine

Some of the earliest European travelers through Dakota Territory were in search of gold. Stories of gold mines in Montana and Idaho drew prospectors from all over with the promise of wealth and prosperity. Dr. William Denton Dibb, credited by the Quarterly Journal of the University of North Dakota (Vol. 13, 1922) as the first pioneer […]


Abandoned Fort Buford

Fort Buford dates back to the days of the Dakota Territory, decades before the map was crisscrossed by a spiderweb of railroad lines. Founded in 1866, Fort Buford was a strategically chosen point near the best highways of the day — the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. The original fort was reportedly constructed using some recycled […]

Lost Bridge on the Little MIssouri River

Lost Bridge on the Little Missouri River

This is Lost Bridge on the Little Missouri River, about 23 miles north of Killdeer in Dunn County. The name “Lost Bridge” holds a coincidental double meaning in this case, since the bridge no longer exists. These photos were taken by the Historic American Engineering Record, and the notes from the file tell an interesting story: […]

Oberon, North Dakota

Second Chances in Oberon

Oberon, North Dakota is in Benson County, about ten miles southwest of Fort Totten. Two places we had been to previously, Josephine and Flora, North Dakota, are a short drive west. We happened to drive through Oberon when we were on our way to Minot in 2014 and we were surprised to see there were […]