Abandoned: Thelen, North Dakota

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 […]

True Ghost Towns: Population Zero

Hesper, North Dakota

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 […]

Dust Bowl Grassy Butte

Grassy Butte, North Dakota

Grassy Butte, North Dakota is a very remote Badlands settlement in McKenzie County near the Montana border, an unincorporated community with a population in the dozens. In the 1930s, Grassy Butte was one of a multitude of places where the locals who’d arrived in search of the American dream faced sad realities and hard choices. […]

Dust Bowl North Dakota

Russell Lee, Highway Number 2, 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 […]

Building a Nuclear Defense in Nekoma

Nekoma Safeguard Complex

Long before the Star Wars Missile Defense Shield was a thing, the US Government deployed a nuclear anti-ballistic missile system in Nekoma, North Dakota. It was the only operational facility of its kind. You can read more about it in our previous post, here. These photos are from spring and summer of 1971, taken by […]

The Ruins of Lincoln Valley, North Dakota

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 […]

October in Cass County

Wilcox Farm Elevator

It’s always a pleasant surprise to run across places just standing alongside the road. This place is just west of Ayr, North Dakota, in Cass County and we believe it’s the Wilcox farm. We would love if someone could enlighten us on the history of this structure — it looks like an elevator, although somewhat […]

Church and Sunflowers in Concrete, North Dakota

Concrete, North Dakota

Sometimes when we’re out on the road, we’ll run across a place and snap a few photos with the intention of getting the photos posted on the site, but then real life intervenes and by the time we get around to posting the photos, we’ve lost track of where we took them (we use GPS […]

More Venturia, North Dakota

Venturia, North Dakota

We captured these photos of Venturia, North Dakota in May of 2011.  According to Don, the town’s barkeep at the Duck Inn, Venturia has 21 residents. These are some additional shots that didn’t make it into the main Venturia gallery. Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC Writers/Bloggers: Ghosts of […]

More Corinth, North Dakota

Corinth, North Dakota

We visited Corinth in May of 2010 and we were thrilled at the photo opportunities. Corinth is in Williams County, about thirty minutes northeast of Williston. A follower on Facebook reports the 2014 population of Corinth is 4 residents.  Please enjoy these previously unpublished shots. Inside the doorway of the school. From a distance, Corinth […]