• Old Marmarth Road

    Video: Driving the Badlands of Old Marmarth Road

    We’ve visited Marmarth, North Dakota on several occasions, but it wasn’t until this past summer that we had the opportunity to drive the badlands of Old Marmarth Road, also known as Old Highway 16. We took quite a few photos while we were there, and shot some GoPro video too. This is our look at […]

  • Sanger County House

    Say Goodbye to the Sanger County House

    We first visited Sanger in 2004 and quickly fell in love with the County House. Someone had told us it was the former post office in Sanger, but we visited again in 2013 and an area resident told us it was known as the County House — the remnant of a boarding house from the […]

  • Washburn Township Bridge

    More Historic Automobile Bridges

    This is part two in our series about historic North Dakota automobile bridges. In part one, we focused on Sheyenne River crossings in southeast North Dakota. This time, we’ve photographed historic steel bridges in East-Central North Dakota, on the Sheyenne, Goose, and James Rivers. Some of these bridges are closed and abandoned, others are still […]

  • Norway Lutheran Church

    Sunday Morning on the Prairie at Norway Lutheran Church

    Norway Lutheran Church is in Nelson County, forty-three miles southeast of Devils Lake, not far from the valley where the Sheyenne River carves its way through the North Dakota landscape. Terry and I were on an adventure to photograph old steel automobile bridges, but as always, we were scanning the countryside for other abandoned things and […]

  • Shenford Township Bridge

    Historic Bridges of the Sheyenne Valley, part one

    If you’ve followed this site for any length of time, you know we occasionally like to photograph bridges, for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s for their historic significance (like Caledonia and Romness Township bridges), and other times it’s because the bridge is huge and awe-inspiring, as is the case with the High Line, Karnak, […]

  • depot-feature

    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 […]

  • Nebo School

    Nebo School on Borrowed Time

    In Bowman County, about eleven miles south of Rhame, North Dakota, this place remains, if only on borrowed time. Known simply as Nebo School, this little structure is the ruin of a North Dakota country school. There is very little information on the web about this particular school, so if you have a connection to […]

  • North Dakota

    Five More North Dakota Sites You’ll Love

    If you’re like us, you enjoy all things North Dakota. Here are five more North Dakota-related sites you should check out. Wild In North Dakota: They might be the most followed North Dakota-oriented site on Facebook with over a quarter-million followers. Wild in North Dakota is a non-profit organization dedicated to the “promotion, education, and awareness of […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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. […]

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Ghosts of North Dakota is Vanishing

If you’re one of the 114-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

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 […]


Congrats Charles T. of Bismarck, Winner of this Gift Set

Congratulations, Charles T. of Bismarck, winner of this Ghosts of North Dakota gift set! Didn’t win? Buy a gift set in the store. This Ghosts of North Dakota gift set includes: All three hardcover Ghosts of North Dakota books — that’s 286 pages of ghost towns and abandoned places in three beautiful coffee table books […]