Bethel Lutheran Church, Rural Wildrose

Bethel Lutheran Church, Rural Wildrose

On fourth of July weekend, 2013, we found ourselves ahead of schedule on our two day photo shoot.  In the town of Fortuna, we found the church we wanted to photograph had oil workers camping out on the property and big trucks parked in front of it.  We moved on to another location which also turned out to be a bust, so we set out for Powers Lake to get some lunch. As we drove along highway 50 between Alamo…

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A Last Look at the Abandoned Fortuna Air Force Station: part II

A Last Look at the Abandoned Fortuna Air Force Station: part II

This is our second gallery for the abandoned Fortuna Air Force Station.  It was demolished in the summer of 2015.  Click here to start at part one. Stairway to nowhere. Terry ventured into the bowels of a structure at the top of the hill and came across this vivid reminder that the men and women who worked here were putting their lives on the line every day and facing a grim future if relations with the Soviets went the wrong…

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A Last Look at the Abandoned Fortuna Air Force Station: part I

A Last Look at the Abandoned Fortuna Air Force Station: part I

Fortuna Air Force Station is an abandoned Air Force radar station located in Divide County, about 6 1/2 miles from Canada and 8 miles from Montana.  Like the Minot Air Force Station, Fortuna AFS was a GCI (Ground Control Intercept) base designed to detect unidentified aircraft and coordinate interception.  Originally opened in 1952, the mission evolved over several decades to suit changing technology until it was partially deactivated in 1979.  It was closed for good in 1984. The radar dishes and…

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Vanishing Antler 2013

Vanishing Antler 2013

We’ve wanted to visit Antler for several years but it never quite fit into our travel plans until 4th of July weekend, 2013.  Antler is a very small town in Bottineau County, just two miles from the Canadian border.  The 2010 Census pinpoints Antler’s population at 27, although local residents claim a population of 35.  Local residents have fought valiantly at times to keep the population figure from dwindling, including an effort by two local residents in the 1980s to…

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Landa, ND

Landa, ND

Landa, North Dakota is a small town in Bottineau County, about seven miles south of the Canadian border.  According to the 2010 Census, Landa is home to 38 residents, down from a peak of 150 in 1920. When we first drove into Landa, we saw a lot of inhabited homes with children playing and people out doing yard work, and we worried we might not find much to photograph. Upon a little exploration we discovered some good photo opportunities, including…

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Roth in 2013

Roth in 2013

We weren’t expecting a lot when we visited Roth since it’s a very small town site, west of Bottineau, but we left disappointed after discovering a combination of factors would keep us from getting the photos we’d hoped.  Much of the town is now heavily overgrown, hiding some of the vacant structures, and there are No Trespassing signs posted as well. We’ve heard from others that there might be three or four families in Roth, but we only saw one…

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Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota is in Eddy County, not far from Tolna, about a half hour southeast of Devils Lake.  We met a local resident named Troy Gleason who gave us quite a bit of information on Hamar — the population is six, including a family of  three, two widows, and Troy. This former school still hosts meetings on occasion. Hamar didn’t seem particularly remote compared to some of the places we’ve visited, so I was somewhat surprised to discover cell…

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Inside Brantford Public School

Inside Brantford Public School

Exploring the abandoned Brantford Public School in Brantford, North Dakota.  This was Troy’s first time wearing the GoPro camera, and the moment he put it on, he forgot he was wearing it, so please ignore the ramblings and excuse the stomach-turning fast panning.  We’ll do better next time. Note: this video is available in HD.

Exploring Brantford, North Dakota

Exploring Brantford, North Dakota

We’ve known about Brantford, North Dakota — in Eddy County — for some time.  Mark Johnson contributed some winter photos a few years back, and we posted some postcards as well, but this was the first time we got a chance to actually visit. We saw only one home which appeared to be inhabited (it had a satellite dish on the roof), but we didn’t see a single person the whole time we were there.  There were half a dozen…

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North Dakota’s Loneliest Places

North Dakota’s Loneliest Places

A slideshow from Mother Nature Network recently named 12 U.S. places where your visit could double the population — places with a population of one or fewer. Although they did name Tenney, Minnesota — a place we’ve visited twice for our sister project GhostsofMN.com — they neglected to mention any North Dakota places.  So here we present our own list of North Dakota’s loneliest places. Hesper, North Dakota A true ghost town, population zero. Lincoln Valley, North Dakota A rapidly…

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Argusville: School’s Out

Argusville: School’s Out

We paid a brief visit to Argusville High School today and found things have changed quite a bit since our last visit in 2011.  The school was in a terrible state of disrepair and had been thoroughly vandalized when we last saw it, but it has since been boarded-up. The rusting twin fire escapes have been torn down, leaving the front of the school as it originally looked before they were erected.  Every door and window has now been boarded-up…

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Straubville, North Dakota: A True Ghost Town

Straubville, North Dakota: A True Ghost Town

We visited Straubville, North Dakota, a ghost town south of Jamestown, on a cloudy day in 2005 and found it totally abandoned. Unfortunately, we arrived a few years too late to capture the major remaining buildings when they were still standing.  We’ve been told that things have deteriorated since our last visit, so we’re hoping to go back to Straubville some time in the near future for an update. We were recently digging through our archive and realized we had…

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Building LaMoure County Courthouse

Building LaMoure County Courthouse

This is a vintage post card view of LaMoure County Courthouse while it was still under construction in LaMoure, North Dakota.  The courthouse was constructed in 1907.  Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The wikipedia entry for this courthouse reads, in part: The structure includes a highly-detailed, metal-covered dome with bull’s eye windows topped by a ball finial. An octagonal tower with columns and arched windows supports the dome. The front facade features four large…

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The Great Fargo Fire of 1893

The Great Fargo Fire of 1893

June 7th, 1893 was a typical Wednesday in Fargo, sunny but windy.  Fargo’s six thousand residents were going about their lives, carrying out their business from mostly wooden storefronts and traveling from place to place in horse drawn carriages and wagons. Winds were gusting to 30 miles per hour that day.  Even today, if you’ve spent any time in Fargo, you know these windy days all too well.  Rarely though do we give much thought to the danger that comes…

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Video: Memorial Weekend Trip 2013

Video: Memorial Weekend Trip 2013

After getting suggestions from several people that we start doing videos again, we decided to ease back into it and we did just a little bit of video on our trip over Memorial Weekend.  We stopped doing videos some years ago, mainly because there are only two of us, and when we go on a trip, we’re usually busy enough taking photos.  Video has never been our forte’ but we understand it provides a little glimpse inside our trips, so…

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Return to Crystal Springs: A Town Cut in Two by the Interstate

Return to Crystal Springs: A Town Cut in Two by the Interstate

We first visited Crystal Springs in 2005, primarily to photograph the abandoned school which is quite visible from the Interstate.  We didn’t find out until later that we had neglected to photograph a portion of Crystal Springs which waits just north of the highway.  So, on Memorial Weekend of 2013, we returned to Crystal Springs. While many towns suffered when they were bypassed by an interstate, Crystal Springs’ decline was hastened when it was bisected by the interstate, effectively cutting…

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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. The concrete structure holding up the car looks like it could be a former bank vault. The brick structure at the base of this tree…

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Sanger: No Longer a Ghost Town

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 to Sanger about four years ago.  They have been renovating one of the existing homes in Sanger, and they’ve built several new structures as well….

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Tuttle Country 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 No. 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.  If someone could shed some light on this school’s history, we would appreciate your insight. Update:  Wanda Burrer posted on our Facebook page with more…

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Arena: Nine Years Later

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 east side of the church has continued to crumble, and will likely cause the church to topple into its own basement eventually.  The outhouse out…

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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 either of these schools, we would appreciate your insight.  There is also a cemetery right across the road which we chose not to photograph due…

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Weiser Township 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 featured this school in our second book, Ghosts of North Dakota, Volume 2. We visited on Memorial Weekend of 2013, and in the coat room, we discovered a log book. The first entry on the log book reads: “These are the names of people who visited here,…

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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 of Eldridge in June of 2010 when Dustin Person sent us a photo of the school. Rat and I arrived at 7 am on a…

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Clear Lake School II

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 body of water called Long Alkaline Lake, straight north of Highway 36 on 31st Ave SE…  This would be east of Robinson. It was moved…

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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 crumbling. There is one other structure on-site, the white building shown below, which we’re told was the former township school, and was last used as…

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White Butte

White Butte

White Butte is the highest point in the state of North Dakota at 3,506 feet above sea level. The peak is on private land and is not staffed. Of the 50 state highpoints, only seven are on private land — North Dakota, Nebraska, Maryland, Louisiana, Kansas, Indiana and Illinois. There is no development of any kind at White Butte. The closest town, Amidon, had a population of 26 in the 2000 Census, and is the smallest county seat in the nation as…

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Olga, ND

Olga, ND

This is Olga, North Dakota, a near-ghost town in northern North Dakota — the oldest settlement in Cavalier County having been established in 1882 as St. Pierre.  Olga once had nearly 100 residents but underwent a slow decline over several decades.  Today, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart church is the most impressive local landmark.  These shots were captured by Terry in 2006. Photos by Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Flora, ND

Flora, ND

Flora, North Dakota is in Benson County, about 40 miles southwest of Devils Lake. According to North Dakota Place Names by Douglas A. Wick, it’s an unincorporated community which had only 8 residents as of 1982. Former resident Kevin K. tells us there are now three remaining residents. Flora had a Post Office for 70 years, from 1901 to 1971, when it was closed and mail went to Maddock. Flora was originally known as Schuyler. We took these photos in…

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More Bentley

More Bentley

These photos have been in our archive since we visited Hettinger County in 2007 and we are posting them here for the first time.  The church shown below has since partially collapsed. Bentley was founded by Arthur A. Bentley who, after moving from Eden Valley, Minnesota, started a photography business in Fargo in the 1890s.  In 1907 he moved to Hettinger County and founded the town of Bentley.  Someone has started a Bentley webpage where you can read more, and…

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