Browsed by
Tag: bank

The Quiet of Forbes, North Dakota

The Quiet of Forbes, North Dakota

Forbes, North Dakota is in Dickey County, about thirty miles southeast of Ashley, right on the South Dakota border. On nearly every trip, we go out looking forward to seeing a certain town, but on the way home, we realize another town was better or more fun.  In this adventure in June of 2011, Forbes was that town — the pleasant surprise.

Read More Read More

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
The Old West Charm of Appam, North Dakota

The Old West Charm of Appam, North Dakota

Appam, North Dakota is in Williams County, in the extreme northwestern part of the state, about 25 miles north of Williston. The terrain around Appam is a rugged grassland, quite dry, with chalky, alkaline soil, and gently rolling hills. We first visited this tiny unincorporated settlement in May of 2010, and found a place that is a shell of its former self.

Appam, North Dakota

North Dakota Place Names by Douglas Wick says Appam was founded in 1916 as a Great Northern Railroad town. The significance of the name “Appam,” is not known.

Since Appam is unincorporated, reliable population figures aren’t available, but there were a handful of occupied homes, and it looked like residents numbered a dozen or two. The oil boom was just ramping up to full steam at the time, and new residents would arrive in town not long after we shot these photos.

Appam, North Dakota

The former Appam State Bank still stands, and it is ripped right from the pages of a western novel, with its false front and peeling paint reminiscent of a place where old west outlaws would ride up on horseback for a daring daylight raid.

Appam, North Dakota

Although little remains of the original town, signs have been posted on the remaining buildings, identifying each of them by their former purpose.

Appam, North Dakota

The building shown here was a store and pool hall, at one time known as Holm’s, and it previously wore the name “Christopherson’s.”

Appam, North Dakota

Appam, North Dakota

Appam, North Dakota

Appam, North Dakota

Sidewalks still exist where prairie settlers once went about their daily business, in the days when the population of Appam was near 100, but today the grass and weeds invade with a persistence that will eventually win the battle.

Appam, North Dakota

The large white building down the street from the store/pool hall has a “Hendrickson Bros Hardware” sign affixed to the boarded-up front window. It was moved from another town called “Plumber” (perhaps spelled Plumer?) around 1920 when the railroad decided to change course (see comment from Gary Folkestad, below).

Appam, North Dakota

It looks like someone started to paint this place, but the ladder only reached just so high.

Appam, North Dakota

In a sign that Appam’s residents have not forgotten, someone has erected signs where many of Appam’s long gone structures once stood. Above, the site of the former Dance Hall. Below, all that remains of Jens Hillestad’s garage.

Appam, North Dakota

In 2015, Appam was the subject of some unwanted publicity when a resident was charged with storing stolen merchandise in Appam. According to the Billings Gazette, a man used a site in Appam to house “huge amounts” of stolen items. The man was caught when stolen power tools and ammunition from a heist in Crosby, North Dakota were found in his car during a traffic stop.

Appam, North Dakota

Above, the former site of the mercantile and post office, which was founded in 1917 with Mrs. Frances Pilgrim as the Postmaster. She held the position for forty years. Below, the absence of Bethany Lutheran Church has left this lot as a flat, empty spot on the prairie.

Appam, North Dakota

What do you know about Appam? Can you provide an update on how things have changed since we took these photos? Please leave a comment below.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

GET NOTIFIED

Join 5,004 other subscribers

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
5th Avenue in Cleveland, North Dakota

5th Avenue in Cleveland, North Dakota

Cleveland, North Dakota was founded in 1882 by settlers who came from Cleveland, Ohio. It is in Stutsman County, right along Interstate 94, about 20 minutes west of Jamestown.

Cleveland, North Dakota

Cleveland once had over 300 residents, but like many small rural communities, declined with the railroad transportation culture. In the 2000 Census, Cleveland had 112 residents in 52 households. By 2010, the number had dropped to 83 residents from 40 households. These buildings along 5th Avenue tell the tale of a slowly vanishing prairie town.

Cleveland, North Dakota

The former Cleveland Grocery looks like it has been deserted for quite some time.

Cleveland, North Dakota

The former bank went through some changes. You can see non-original brickwork that was used to fill the window and door openings, presumably to make them smaller and more energy efficient in a cold, North Dakota winter.

Cleveland, North Dakota

According to North Dakota Place Names by Douglas A. Wick, Cleveland did not officially incorporate as a city until 1968.

Cleveland, North Dakota

This building strongly resembles some of the old hotels and bunkhouses we’ve seen. Can you tell us what it was?

Cleveland, North Dakota

There is also an impressive former public school in Cleveland, but it looks like someone has purchased the property for use as part of a heavy-equipment business of some sort, so we didn’t photograph it.

Cleveland, North Dakota

The first Post Office opened in Cleveland in 1882 but closed in 1884, with Windsor, North Dakota becoming the closest mail stop. In 1900, a new post office opened in Cleveland. Today, this utilitarian structure is the Post Office for Cleveland.

Cleveland, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

Join 5,004 other subscribers

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Vanishing Bremen, North Dakota

Vanishing Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen is a small, unincorporated town near Fessenden in Wells County.  This central part of the state is very sparsely populated and dotted with abandoned places like the Remains of Munster School and Hamberg.  These photos were taken in 2008, and we hope to revisit the area sometime soon for an update.

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen supposedly had a population of 200 at one time, but it hasn’t had nearly that many for a very long time. Most of Bremen’s residents (there aren’t many) live in a cluster of residences a short distance to the southeast, leaving the street shown here a rather lonesome place.

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

Do you know what this building used to be? Please leave a comment.

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

The former Bremen Bank is the most striking derelict structure in Bremen. The amazing stone architecture is a thing to behold, but also perhaps a liability considering moving the building for the sake of preservation would be very difficult and expensive. The roof is totally porous already. Unless someone takes heroic measures to save this structure where it sits, it will eventually fall victim to time.

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

A peek inside the building from the rear, looking toward the front.

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

Bremen, North Dakota

There’s something storybook about this winding drive, leading to a decidedly non-storybook abandoned home.

Bremen, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

Join 5,004 other subscribers

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
8 More Lost North Dakota Places

8 More Lost North Dakota Places

Unfortunately, we have to do a post like this from time to time. As the years pass, many of the places we’ve photographed also pass… into history. Whether it be the wrecking ball, weathering, or disaster, many of the places we’ve photographed since 2003 are now gone. We documented some of the losses in 10 Lost North Dakota Places and 10 More Lost North Dakota Places, now, unfortunately, here are 8 More Lost North Dakota Places.

Maza School

Maza School

A visitor recently commented to tell us the Maza School apparently burned sometime in 2015 or 2016. As one of the few remaining structures from Maza, the end of this school effectively spells the end for Maza.

Bluegrass Store and Gas Station

Bluegrass, North Dakota

Bluegrass, North Dakota, is a true ghost town, population zero, in Morton County, about thirty-five miles northwest of Mandan. Bluegrass is a former rural community that had a population of 20 in the 1920 Census, a relatively small peak population, but not surprising considering the railroad never came to Bluegrass. Sadly, this former store and gas station burned down in 2014.

Northgate Port of Entry

Northgate, North Dakota

Northgate is a fascinating near-ghost town right on the Canadian border, about 70 miles northwest of Minot. It was originally founded one mile to the north, but moved one mile south to its present site. While the original town site retained the name North Gate (with a space) this town was renamed North Gate South, and then re-dubbed Northgate (without the space) when the post office was established in 1914. This building was once the Port of Entry Station, but was abandoned when a new Port was built. A person commented on our Facebook page to say the building has since been demolished.

Much of Leith, North Dakota

leith-store

Leith‘s troubles have been highly publicized, so we don’t have to say much except that numerous vacant structures were demolished after a white supremacist bought up the property in an attempt to take over the town. This creamery is one of the buildings which no longer stands in Leith.

Lost Bridge

Lost Bridge on the Little MIssouri River

Lost Bridge was so named because in 1930 when it was originally constructed over the Little Missouri River, about 23 miles north of Killdeer, there were no quality roads leading to the site, and the bridge was seldom used. Paved roads came in the sixties, but Lost Bridge was demolished in 1994 and replaced with a modern highway bridge.

Brantford Public School

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford Public School still stands in this Eddy County ghost town, but not for long.  One of the classrooms has collapsed and cracks can be seen throughout the exterior walls. Soon, Brantford Public School will be no more.

Minot Church

minot-church2

This church, known as Augustana Lutheran Church (and other names over the years) would have been a fantastic place for a business. It stood in a high traffic location, at the foot of Broadway, across from Sammy’s Pizza in Minot. Sadly, after years of dereliction, mold, and a close call in the 2011 flood, the church was demolished.

Most of Bucyrus

bucyrus1

Bucyrus, North Dakota was struck by a wind-driven grassfire in 2010 and many of the abandoned structures in town, as well as a number of family homes, were destroyed. This home, on the west side of town, was one of the casualties. Thankfully, nobody lost their life in the fire, but Bucyrus will never be the same.

Antler Bank

antler1

After being driven out of Leith, the same white supremacist allegedly tried to buy vacant properties in Antler, North Dakota. The city bought up a number of properties to prevent the takeover, and this former bank building was one of them. In early 2016, it was demolished.

Original content copyright © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

Join 5,004 other subscribers

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Passing Through Merricourt

Passing Through Merricourt

Merricourt is a very remote town in Dickey County, about fifty miles south of Jamestown. There are fewer than a handful of residents in Merricourt — just one family remains in this near-ghost town. We didn’t intend to visit Merricourt when we went on an adventure in October of 2014, but some last minute route changes took us right through town, so we stopped to snap a few shots, nine years after our first visit.

Read More Read More

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Raleigh, North Dakota, Population 9

Raleigh, North Dakota, Population 9

Raleigh is a secluded little town in Grant County, just a short drive southwest of Mandan. The population is nine, and there are exactly two businesses in operation. The grain elevator does a brisk business, and the local tavern is called The Dogtooth — named after the hills which cut a ragged swath through the township.

Raleigh, North Dakota

We visited Raleigh at the suggestion of Karla, the owner of the Dogtooth, Raleigh’s only watering hole, and we’re glad we did. There are plenty of good places to photograph, plus they had cold drinks and hot cheeseburgers, as promised. Just make sure you bring cash, no credit cards at the Dogtooth.  Update: a site visitor reports the Dogtooth has closed. See comments.

Raleigh, North Dakota

There were black and white photos on the wall of The Dogtooth from some day long ago — some men were pictured around the Freda Grain Elevator, just before they moved it (in the standing position) to Raleigh. We spoke with Karla at length, and she told us the Raleigh school now stands in Flasher.

Raleigh rests in the bottom of a natural bowl, and we were surprised to find we couldn’t get phone service anywhere.

Raleigh, North Dakota

Raleigh was featured in our hardcover coffee table book, Ghosts of North Dakota, Volume 2.

Raleigh, North Dakota

We’re told the owner of this now-closed store passed away nearly three years ago.

Raleigh, North Dakota

Raleigh, North Dakota

Raleigh, North Dakota

Raleigh, North Dakota

Raleigh, North Dakota

Raleigh, North Dakota

Raleigh, North Dakota

Raleigh, North Dakota

This looks like the remains of the former Raleigh School

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

Join 5,004 other subscribers

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Return to Marmarth

Return to Marmarth

Marmarth is in the far southwest corner of North Dakota, in the Badlands of Slope County, about seventy miles as the crow flies southwest of Dickinson. It’s a town we fell in love with the first time we visited in 2007, because, although there are still over 100 residents there (136 in the 2010 census), there are also a number of very impressive abandoned structures to photograph.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Unfortunately, Marmarth is also a town where we have not had very good luck. In 2007, we were photographing the town when we discovered there was something wrong with the brakes in my Jeep (Jeep stands for “Just Empty Every Pocket” in case you didn’t know) and we were forced to make a side trip to Bowman for repairs. Upon returning home, we posted our photos and discovered there was one quite vocal and rude Marmarth resident who took serious offense that we had the nerve to photograph her town and “brand it a ghost town.” She made her opinion known with comments and emails with LOTS OF CAPS.

Marmarth, North Dakota

This time, we had hoped to have better luck, and to make it clear that we have not ever, nor ever would, brand Marmarth a ghost town. We commonly photograph fading structures in lots of places where people still live. On this trip however, we had a different kind of difficulty — we spent a lot of time talking with local residents and didn’t have as much time to shoot.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Our attraction to Marmarth has a lot to do with the old west ambience — the chalky Badlands landscape, the remote location, and the tendency of local business owners to embrace that role with enthusiasm and a sense of humor. The sign on the front door at Geezer’s illustrates the point. When the door is closed, the store is also closed.

Marmarth, North Dakota

A powerful thunderstorm had moved through the night before we visited Marmarth, and the evidence was visible on the floor of a former service station on Main Street. The rainwater flowed to the hole in the middle of the sagging roof, and poured in torrents onto the floor. This kind of weathering will lead to a collapse of this old service station, if a fire or the bulldozer doesn’t get it first.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Since our last visit, the property owner has thoroughly boarded-up the former 1st National Bank and Barber Auditorium buildings.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

The Mystic Theatre, which we’re told is still occasionally used, has been nicely renovated since we last saw it.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

The small building next to Marmarth’s Pastime Bar and Steakhouse had a scaffold set up along one wall, like someone had planned to make renovations, but when we looked inside, it looks like the only thing going on is beer consumption.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

The Pastime is where we ate last time we were in Marmarth. Their food is excellent, and we tell people about it whenever Marmarth comes up in conversation. If you find yourself there, highly recommended.

Marmarth, North Dakota

The patio outside the Pastime is the kind of place I could sit for a week with some adult beverages and just enjoy the outdoors.

Marmarth, North Dakota

The former railroad bunkhouse has been nicely painted and seemed to be doing more business since the last time we were there. Truthfully, all of Marmarth seemed to be more active since the last time we were there. Although the population is (a little) smaller than it was previously, it seemed like oil and tourist traffic were making it a little more lively place.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Haven’t been seeing many of our posts in your Facebook newsfeed lately? There’s a reason for that, and here’s what you can do about it.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Back to Balfour

Back to Balfour

We visited Balfour in November of 2014, nine years after our first visit, to get some photos of all the things we missed the first time. We actually tried to revisit Balfour in 2012, but a road construction crew had traffic at a complete stop on Highway 52, complicating our travel schedule, and we decided to wait until another time, so it was nice to finally get back there.

Balfour, North Dakota

Most notably, Balfour has this abandoned church standing right along Highway 52. If you drive the stretch between Minot and Harvey, you’ll see it.

Balfour, North Dakota

We’re told this church was originally in Verendrye, North Dakota, a near ghost-town where only a farm and the facade of the old school remain standing.

Balfour, North Dakota

On this particular weekend, winter was about two minutes away, and the skies had been flat, gray, overcast the whole time. Balfour was our last stop before heading for home.

balfour14

balfour5

This church, several derelict homes, along with several inhabited ones, stand on the south side of Highway 52.

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

On the north side of the highway, some familiar sights… like the former Post Office and Community Hall, covered in gorgeously rusted tin siding.

Balfour, North Dakota

The sunset was approaching and the street light was on.

balfour7

Right across the street, the former bank.

Balfour, North Dakota

As we were photographing this area, we ran into the Mayor of Balfour who informed us there are now about 20 residents in town. He also told us about the former fire station and jail, and gave us permission to shoot it as long as we promised to be careful.

balfour42

This little non-descript building once functioned as the fire station and jail in Balfour.

Balfour, North Dakota

Inside, the firefighters’ jackets still hang on the wall. The years they’ve been hanging here can be seen demonstrated in jacket number four. The original red wall paint remains on the wood where the jacket has shielded it from the elements that have been pouring in through the open roof for years. Winds have blown the jacket back and forth on the hook, wearing a fan shape on the wood, and the silhouette of jackets that have fallen on the floor can still be seen on the wall.

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

The siren still rests on top of a tower outside.

Balfour, North Dakota

This is in the room on the other side of the wall from where the jackets are hanging.

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

The door on the left leads to the Balfour town jail. Seeing this chair with the ashtray on the floor made me imagine a jailer, sitting here smoking cigarettes, waiting for a county deputy to arrive and take custody of a prisoner.

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

The jail cell is made from two by fours, and when the door is closed, it is pitch black inside.

Balfour, North Dakota

These two abandoned homes stand on the west side of town.

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

The clouds had been around all day, but just as we were finishing up shooting this school, the sun ducked below the cloud cover and illuminated Balfour in a beautiful golden light that would only last about twenty minutes before sundown.

Balfour, North Dakota

There was another school in Balfour before this one.

Balfour, North Dakota

Part of the wall has collapsed on the south side of the school.

Balfour, North Dakota

Trees have sprouted between the slabs that once served as the basketball court.

Balfour, North Dakota

Just north of the school, this building with a collapsed roof hides in the trees. We intended to get a closer shot, but the changing light conditions made us adjust our priorities. Perhaps next time.Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

There’s something hidden in the photo above. Can you spot it? (Click the image, then again on the next page to see it full size.)

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

We have featured Balfour in several of our hardcover coffee table books.

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

Balfour, North Dakota

Photographer Ria Cabral sent us some photos of Balfour in winter you can see here.

Balfour, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC



Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Nome, North Dakota

Nome, North Dakota

This is Nome, North Dakota, in Barnes County, about 20 miles southeast of Valley City.  I was delivering books earlier this week and stopped to shoot Sheldon, North Dakota since I was in the area, and the highway took me right through Nome as I was on the way home, so I pulled-in and grabbed a few shots.

Nome, North Dakota

According to the 2010 Census, there are 62 residents of Nome, North Dakota.

Nome School

In 2005, Terry and I stopped in Nome to photograph the old school as we were passing through on our way to somewhere else. The photo above is how it appeared in 2005.

Nome School

Today, you can see the trees have grown quite a bit, and the full summer foliage nearly hides the school from view entirely. This “Then and Now” animation shows the difference between a photo postcard view from 1919 and the shot we got in 2005.

Nome School

I was hoping to get inside and take some photos, so I drove around the back, thinking the property owner might be there and I could ask permission to go in, but I just ran into a dead end, so I snapped this shot and left, not wanting to upset anybody.

Nome, North Dakota

Nome, North Dakota

Nome, North Dakota

There’s still plenty of life in Nome, but some cool abandoned structures to shoot too.

Nome, North Dakota

Nome, North Dakota

I looked around to see if the Nome Bank building in this postcard was still standing, but I didn’t see it anywhere.  The bank shown below does not appear to be the same building.

Nome, North Dakota

Nome, North Dakota

This farmhouse was just off the side of the highway about three miles south of town.

Nome, North Dakota

Nome, North Dakota

Nome, North Dakota

Nome, North Dakota

Nome, North Dakota

Nome, North Dakota

Nome, North Dakota

A peek at the top floor. I didn’t dare go all the way up due to the condition of the floors and the roof. Below, what remains of the kitchen.

Nome, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Oil Boom Reviving Tiny Prairie Towns

Oil Boom Reviving Tiny Prairie Towns

The AP did a story in April about the oil boom and Ghosts of North Dakota supplied one of the photos of Appam, North Dakota. Watch the video from the AP’s Martha Irvine.

Order Books

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Fargo’s Front Street, 1909

Fargo’s Front Street, 1909

If you’re fascinated by history, you know postcards are really a simple pleasure. You can tease so many stories out of a few fine details when you look close.

This intersection in Fargo is significant in the history of our state as the place where Fargo literally rose from the ground after the NP Avenue Railroad Bridge was completed in 1872, less than a mile to the east.  It was the first railroad bridge across the Red River at a time when this was still the Dakota Territory. The Northern Pacific stopped at the depot just out of frame on the right and thus, this city block became the first stop in Dakota for the majority of travelers from the east and was frequently the first time many had experienced what they perceived as “the west.”

Moody’s department store would have been just out of frame on the left of the scene below, and there are other interesting landmarks in this postcard, too. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the postcard.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

I found this card when I was nosing around in a box at an antique store. It shows Front Street in Fargo, a street known today as Main Avenue, circa 1909, with Broadway intersecting in the foreground. As you can see, the card was in pretty bad shape, so I started by doing a quick restoration.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

That’s not perfect, but a little better.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

Dr. Mallarian had his offices right on the corner in the same building as the bank, which was founded in 1878 as the First National Bank. However by the time of this photo in 1909, the bank had changed hands and was known as Commercial Bank of Fargo.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

Signs for Emery & Johnson Cycle Company and H.F. Emery Hardware.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

I count three drug stores on this block, a dentist, an insurance agency, and whatever H.G. Edwards sold.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

Front Street Fargo, 1909

Two interesting stories here… on the left, the old DeLendrecie’s department store.  At the time this photo was taken, it was only two stories (see photo top) but it would later have three more stories added.  DeLendrecies moved from this building to the mall in 1973 and was purchased and turned into a Herberger’s store in 1998, ending a one hundred year run.  The downtown DeLendrecies building has been redeveloped into the Block 6 apartment complex.

On the right, the Fargo Waldorf, a hotel that was ingeniously located directly across the street from the Northern Pacific depot.  Like the DeLendrecies building, the Waldorf is yet to reach its full stature at the time of this photo — it’s four stories, but a fifth would be added later. The hotel was destroyed by fire on December 13th, 1951. Read more about the Waldorf at Fargo Moorhead Lost and Found.

Main Avenue, Fargo

Here’s the block as it looks today, occupied by trendy stores, coffee houses and a pizza joint.  The street is considerably wider, and the former DeLendrecies building at the end of the block is now five stories.  All things considered, it’s a small miracle that almost all of these buildings still stand.

Main Avenue, Fargo

If you have suggestions on historically significant North Dakota places that we should feature here, please feel free to contact us.

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Join 5,004 other subscribers

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
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 give away free land to families who would agree to move to Antler.  It worked in the short-term, with 6 families receiving land.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler has a rich and colorful history as a former Port of Entry, not to mention one-time World Record Holder for the World’s Largest Quilt.  There is a fascinating website dedicated to Antler’s history at AntlerND.com — a word of caution however, you will get lost in that site for hours.

We stopped for a beer at the I Have No Idea Bar & Grill (also known as The Cabin) while we were there… not the friendliest place to outlanders like ourselves, but they had good cold beer and the prices were reasonable.  You can see their Facebook page here.

Antler, North Dakota

This is the former Custom House for international travelers. It has also functioned as the Bank, Post Office, and Telephone Office.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

This was also a bank, older than the Bank/Custom House in the center of the town square. The AntlerND.com site has photos of this building when it was still surrounded by other structures. We featured this building in our book, Ghosts of North Dakota, Volume 3, and we’re glad we did, because in the spring of 2016, they tore it down after a white supremacist attempted to buy it, allegedly with plans to take over the town.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

On the left, the former firehouse and jail. On the right, the International Order of Odd Fellows hall.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Vince Azzarello sent in a photo gallery of Antler in 2012 which you can see here.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Tiny Tim once performed at the Antler Public School during a tour to support small schools.  Antler’s school is also featured in our third book.

Antler, North Dakota

This school was built in 1907. Hidden in the trees on the left, a quonset hut gymnasium built in 1949. On the right, a modern addition with extra classroom space, built in 1964.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

The Antler school closed in 1976.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Vintage Nome Postcards

Vintage Nome Postcards

We found a couple of vintage Nome postcards at an antique store not too long ago, including a postcard of the now-abandoned Nome School in Barnes County which we snapped on a whim while passing through Nome in 2005.

We had to make some guesses on this card due to the handwriting — This postcard was sent on September 24th, 1919 from Laura Sigurdson to Miss Signe Bratt (who was a teacher herself in Northfield) in Lawton, North Dakota.  It reads as follows:

Dear Signe,

Did you think I had forgotten you entirely?  Oh no.  Am teaching here at Nome, 1st grade, and like it fine.  How are you anyway?  Do you hear from [name illegible]?  Where is she?  Send me her address will you?  Please write me [illegible] soon and tell me all about yourself.  Yours forever, Laura Sigurdson.

nome-school-postcard-1919-web

You can see what this school looked like in 2005, here.

nome-school-postcard-1919-back-web

In the same box of postcards, we also found this unmailed, undated postcard of Farmers State Bank in Nome.

nome-bank-web

nome-bankers-web

Some dapper looking gentlemen right there.

See the rest of our Nome, North Dakota material here.

Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Order the Book

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Kongsberg, ND

Kongsberg, ND

Kongsberg, North Dakota is a tiny near-ghost town in McHenry County, just a few miles east of another near-ghost town, Ruso.  Originally dubbed Olivia, the name changed to Kongsberg in 1916.  The population of Kongsberg never exceeded 50.  Kongsberg’s church celebrated their 100th anniversary on July 1st, 2012.

This was actually the second town in North Dakota named Kongsberg.  The first Kongsberg was near Abercrombie, but their Post Office closed in 1905.

If you know anything about Kongsberg’s present status… number of full-time residents, the nature of the buildings shown etc… please comment below. Thanks to R. David Adams for contributing these photos.

The former Kongsberg State Bank

The former Kongsberg State Bank

Kongsberg, ND

Kongsberg, ND

Kongsberg, ND

Kongsberg, ND

Kongsberg, ND

St. John Lutheran Church

St. John Lutheran Church

St. John Lutheran Cemetery

St. John Lutheran Cemetery

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Another Look at Hanks

Another Look at Hanks

Clif Nelson contributed these photos of Hanks, North Dakota, a near-ghost town in Williams County — population one. Clif’s comments:

“It was never much of a town, but they had coal mines north of town and grain elevatorsin the early 1900’s.  My Grandfather Anton Nelson who farmed about 7 miles northwest of Hanks would haul a load of grain in and haul coal home from the mines just north of the town of Hanks.  They had a bank at one time, and a store plus I’ m sure other businesses.  The school became a museum of which I have pictures included… My Uncles farmed the old Nelson homestead so we used to visit a lot out there from the late 40’s and on.  My children and family used to frequent the Museum when we would visit the Uncles in the late 70’s and early 80’s.  It was quite a museum and how long it has been closed now I have no idea.”

More of Clif’s comments are included as captions below.

It’s interesting to note the presence of the former Bonetraill school and the Zahl depot in Hanks.  It’s quite common for structures to be moved from a vanishing town to another location, many times for use as a museum or other historically-oriented destination.  In this case the structures have been moved from one withering location to another.

Hanks was featured in the National Geographic article “The Emptied Prairie” in 2008.  You can also check out John Piepkorn’s gallery of Hanks photos from 2010 here.

Back side of the old chicken hatchery

Back side of the Zahl depot…Zahl was about 5 miles east of Hanks on the Railroad line and the highway

Front of the old Zahl depot

Former bank building in Hanks, later had a gas pump in front of it, so it maybe was a store and or gas station in later life.

Old Pioneer Trails Museum. Was the school at one time.

Bonetraill township one room grade school. Township was north of Hanks.

Photos by Clif Nelson. Original content copyright ©2016 Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Antler, ND

Antler, ND

Antler is a small town in Bottineau county, just two miles south of the Canadian border.  The 2010 Census tallied 27 residents, but a local resident says there are 35.  We’ve been meaning to get to Antler for some time, but we just never made it.  Thankfully, Vince Azzarello recently sent in these photos for your enjoyment.  Vince’s comments are included as captions below.

This is a front view of the former Antler Bank (also known as the Customs House), where an American flag and a Canadian flag are still waving. Glenn Tennyson, the proprietor of the local auto shop and gas station, informed us that the town still has 35 inhabitants. This bank is in the center of town, with a road circling around it. It was also used as a Post Office, Rooming House, and Telephone office.

A look at the rear of the building located at the center of the town square. This building was also used as a rooming house and telephone office, as well as a bank

There are 2 former banks featured in this shot. This is a view from the rear of the bank in the town square, and a front view of the other former bank building. I believe the bank in the center of town to be slightly newer than the former bank in the distance.

This bench is situated in front of the old band, which is in the center of town. The blue bench is painted with the dates “1905” and “1984”, making it one year shy of their 80th anniversary.

This is the original entrance to the school, before the addition was built. The white structure in front of the brick building was also added after the brick building was completed.

An excerpt from www.Antlernd.com: “In 1907 a contract to build a brick, four room school went to Jas. Finnin of Devils Lake for $7,219.03 without a heating plant. The school was ready for use by late 1907.” Several additions were added on throughout the years, including a gymnasium in 1949-50, and a “science room, a commerce room, a library, a dining room, a well-equipped kitchen and an office” in 1964. This was the last addition to the school. High school classes were held in the new addition until 1976. Then, the grade children in kindergarten through sixth grade used the new addition until the closing of the entire school in 1987. That is the same year the school district was dissolved. “The older school is now occupied by the Antler Historical Society as a museum. The newer addition, at present, is owned by the City of Antler”. That was printed in 1989.

I took this photo from inside the school building on a staircase leading up to the higher floors. To the left of this shot would be the main entrance of the school.

This classroom is located on the 2nd floor of the original school building. As you can see, part of the 3rd floor caved in on it.

Another shot of a different classroom, also found on the first floor of the school building. This room is quite empty compared to the previous classroom.

My friends and I walked into this classroom in the school, and this is what we saw. A couple of desks still remain, containing several books still inside. This classroom is on the first floor of the 3-story school building.

This is a picture of the cafeteria in the school. On the left of this picture you can see the opening where the kitchen was located. This was part of the addition to the original school. The addition was built in 1964. The floor is littered with broken glass.

This is a shot of the basement in the old school building, located northwest of the town square. It was pitch black in that basement, so in order to see clearly what was down there we needed to take pictures and investigate more closely later.

The original Fire hall, built in 1907 on the east end of the town square.

A view from the town square eastward.

A look at the firehall and IOOF building. The Firehall was built in 1907, followed shortly by the Odd Fellows Hall.

This building is also known as the Odd Fellows Hall, and is located next to the Firehall just east of the town square.

This was the former First National Bank building, located to the west of the town square.

Many people don’t know that at one point in time, Antler, ND was the home of the World’s Largest Quilt. Here is an excerpt fron www.Antlernd.com: “Antler, North Dakota, birthplace of the largest quilt in the world. First certified by the Guinness Book of World Records July 14, 1988. 85 feet by 134 feet. The project was coordinated by Leona Tennyson, Executive Director.” I encourage you to check out the website and read the entire story behind this magnificent quilt.

I included these pictures because they give a detailed history of the town, printed in an Antler school yearbook dated 1928. The yearbook was called “The Screech Owl”, and commencement was held on Thursday, May 31, 1928.

This is known as the Antler Community Church, and is still in use today. This church has been around since 1906, and has changed denominations several times.

Photos by Vince Azzarello, all rights reserved.
Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Kathryn, North Dakota: Ripped from a Western Movie

Kathryn, North Dakota: Ripped from a Western Movie

Kathryn is a beautiful little town in Barnes county, nestled perfectly into the landscape of the Sheyenne River Valley. It is more of a small town than a near-ghost town with a population of 57, but with an abundance of abandoned places and other photo opportunities.

There’s a nice little bar in Kathryn and one or two more businesses, plus some nicely maintained homes. If you decide to drive the Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway, Kathryn is the perfect non-touristy place to stop in for a beer.

The former bank.

If you drive the Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway between Valley City and Kathryn, North Dakota, you’ll be treated to a roadside panorama as incredible as nearly any in the state. It is beautiful.

Terry was snapping photos of this old jail when he walked around the corner and saw this mannequin staring out at him. He said something about needing a change of pants after that!

We spoke with a local resident named Roger who showed us this old photo of the hotel.

The former harness shop.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Manfred: Six Years Later

Manfred: Six Years Later

Manfred is a near-ghost town just off Highway 52 between Minot and Jamestown.  We visited Manfred previously in 2006, and decided to stop again for an overdue visit on our way to north central North Dakota.

Manfred is home to about five residents these days, and several of them are doing a fantastic job at buying up properties and securing/restoring them.  The Johnson Hotel was on the brink when we visited in 2006, but has since been repainted.  In addition, there was an old school in Manfred which we chose not to photograph last time because it looked as though someone had been living in it.  It is now undergoing a thorough cleaning, and the residents of Manfred have plans to restore the portico over the front stairs when they can raise the funds to do so.

Read More Read More

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
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 three minutes drive from Erie.

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Return to Merricourt

Return to Merricourt

Merricourt is located in south central North Dakota, Dickey County, about twenty minutes from the South Dakota border, and it is a place we’ve visited on a number of occasions. Each time we’ve visited Merricourt, we’ve found the former Soo Line Railroad town hovering near the end, with just one family (and at least one dog) still living in Merricourt. As is the case with so many vanishing towns on the prairie, there are no businesses in town, no industry, and no reason for new residents to settle in Merricourt in any significant number. It won’t be more than a generation or two before Merricourt is a true ghost town.

Read More Read More

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Danzig, ND

Danzig, ND

A few buildings are all that remain of the town that was once Danzig. In the extreme south central part of the state, Danzig is about halfway between Ashley and Wishek, southwest of Jamestown. The first Post Office was established in 1898 but it closed due to lack of development in 1903. During a brief boom, a Post Office was opened again in 1911. It closed in 1955. Danzig’s population never exceeded 100.

Danzig, North Dakota

These photos were contributed by Jeff Baumann. Jeff’s comments: “There are 2 people living there now – Brian Dohn and his wife. He was very kind to let me take pictures last June. The only structures that are still standing are the Bank, 2 Grain elevators and I believe the lumber mill.”

Danzig, North Dakota

Danzig, North Dakota

Danzig, North Dakota

Danzig, North Dakota

Photos by Jeff Baumann, original content copyright © 2017 Sonic Tremor Media

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
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 a farm in the Souris area and told me that the whole town and area around has leased out the mineral rights, so that may be breathing some new life into the whole area.

souris4

Editor’s note: the owner of the school contacted us to demand that we remove these photos from our website. Since these photos were taken from public property, we declined. However, we agreed to mention that the school is private property and visitors are not welcome.

souris5

Photos by Miranda Schuler, copyright Upload Photography.

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
The Quiet Beauty of Alkabo, North Dakota

The Quiet Beauty of Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating but remote towns we have ever visited. Roughly six miles from Montana and eight miles from Canada, it is the most northwestern settlement in North Dakota.

We drove north from Grenora to get to Alkabo and found the drive beautiful but distant from services and fuel. If you decide to visit Alkabo, you should plan accordingly.

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo is home to a handful of residents (there were only 19 remaining in 1976), and is situated on the side of a hill with the school at the top.

Alkabo, North Dakota

The former Alkabo School is now a museum and we’re told it’s open by appointment.

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

After the destruction of the structures in Fillmore, North Dakota, Alkabo’s Main Street remains as one of the most impressive examples of an abandoned business district, with old vacant buildings standing side-by-side. Most of the structures east of Main Street are now abandoned, while Alkabo’s remaining residents inhabit the west side of town.

Alkabo, North Dakota

The railroad that gave rise to Alkabo still passes through at the south end of town, but there is no depot and the trains no longer stop.

Alkabo, North Dakota

On the fair right, a common sight in towns like Alkabo — the bank vault still stands but the bank is gone.

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

This old structure stands on Stromstad Street, and looks like it might have been a school. If you know, please leave a comment.

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

If you build it, they might come, but will they stay?

Alkabo, North Dakota

Open basements, structural ruins, and vacant buildings dot the townsite.

Alkabo, North Dakota

Know somebody who would enjoy a North Dakota-centric gift? Check out our hardcover coffee table books, coffee, and gift sets in the store.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

Join 5,004 other subscribers

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Bantry, ND

Bantry, ND

Bantry is a small near-ghost town in McHenry county, about 15 miles northwest of Towner. It is very picturesque and harbors numerous vacant structures.

According to North Dakota Place Names by Douglas A. Wick, Bantry peaked at a population of 315 in 1920.

US Census Data for Bantry
Total Population by Place

1960 – 93
1970 – 40
1980 – 28
2000 – 19
2010 – 14

bantry1

Bantry township hall.Bantry, ND

bantry11

The former bank was packed full of stuff.

Bantry, ND

Bantry, ND

Bantry, ND

Bantry, ND

We featured a few shots of Bantry, North Dakota in our second book, Ghosts of North Dakota, Volume 2.

Bantry, ND

Bantry, ND

Bantry, ND

Bantry, ND

Bantry, ND

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
A Robbery in Merricourt

A Robbery in Merricourt

merricourt-11-1Host/Author/Producer Keith Norman was kind enough to share a story about a Merricourt robbery, from his book – ‘Great Stories of the Great Plains, Vol. 1

Self Defense on the Back Roads

Roy Michaelson listed his occupation as a professional Boxer from Minneapolis Minnesota. His record in sanctioned bouts was 1 win, 1 loss, and 1 draw. In all likelihood he fought in many unsanctioned fights across the Midwest in his brief stint in the ring.

Read More Read More

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Marmarth, ND

Marmarth, ND

Slope County
Inhabited as of 5-07

Marmarth, ND is a Badlands town in Slope County in the extreme southwest corner of the state.

Marmarth is one of the more populous towns we’ve photographed with 130 people according to the 2010 Census, but minimum conveniences. Marmarth has lost 190 residents since 1960.

There’s an exhilarating old west ambience in this part of the state… Montana is only five miles west and it’s just a three hour drive to Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming.  The landscape is a harder, chalkier badland than the more pastoral lands to the east and radio signals sometimes elude the car radio as the highway winds past the occasional butte.  There’s a gas station, a bar/steakhouse (with excellent food), and a railroad bunkhouse where you can rent a room with a double bed for $15 per night.  At the time we visited, we were told they had dial-up internet in Marmarth, and satellite was the only way to get TV programming.

The most prominent abandoned structure in Marmarth is Barber Auditorium. It’s actually two buildings, Barber Auditorium and First National Bank of Marmarth.

The train depot has been cut in two pieces and relocated to a stretch of grass along the highway as you enter from the east.

CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

Marmarth, North Dakota

The 1st National Bank and Barber Auditorium in downtown Marmarth, built in 1918.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Order Ghosts of North Dakota Books

Marmarth, North Dakota

In the basement of Barber auditorium.

Marmarth, North Dakota

The red velvet theater seats still wait in the murky black.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

The staircase on the main floor of the auditorium.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

A former storefront, now only storage.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

The former Mystic Theatre

Marmarth, North Dakota

These were the first two jail cells ever installed in Marmarth.

Marmarth, North Dakota

The Pastime Bar has cold drinks, and the food in the steakhouse at the rear is excellent.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

One former filling station.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Another former filling station.

Marmarth, North Dakota

The depot has been moved.

Marmarth, North Dakota

It now rests on blocks alongside the road in downtown Marmarth.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

A boarded-up school.

Marmarth, North Dakota

Marmarth, North Dakota

We rented rooms at this former railroad bunkhouse for $15 bucks a night.

Marmarth, North Dakota

See more photos of Marmarth here.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Bordulac Bank

Bordulac Bank

Stutsman County
The former Bordulac Bank building

Bordulac, ND is just a few miles SE of Carrington, ND, in Foster County. Although Bordulac has a population, we thought this building was pretty cool and worthy of a pic on the site.

bordulacbank

Photo by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Silva, North Dakota

Silva, North Dakota

Pierce County
Inhabited as of 4/06

Silva was founded in 1912 as a Soo Line Railroad settlement. It reportedly reached a peak population of 125 in 1920 and has been on the decline ever since.

Silva’s most famous former resident would be Julius Thompson who at one time was the world’s tallest man at eight feet, seven inches. Thompson died in 1955.

In the late nineties, North Dakota State University did a study on statewide population decline and featured photos of Silva on the cover of the finished report. Unfortunately, the buildings no longer stand as they were burned due to infestation.

Present-day Silva appears to be home to a dozen or so residents, and perhaps 4 to 6 abandoned structures. The church, sans bell tower, stands alone on the east edge of town, with most of the remaining structures on the other side of the road leading into town.

CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

Silva, North Dakota

Silva, North Dakota

Silva, North Dakota

Silva, North Dakota

The vault is the only remnant of the bank today.

Silva, North Dakota

Silva, North Dakota

Order Book Two

Silva, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

See also: More from Silva, North Dakota

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy
Balfour, ND

Balfour, ND

Balfour was founded in in 1898 about 35 miles southeast of Minot. It was named for Arthur, Lord Balfour, a British statesman and essayist. Population is said to have peaked at 390, but it now holds less than thirty.

US Census Data for Balfour
Total Population by Place

1940 – 193
1950 – 162
1960 – 159
1970 – 93
1980 – 51
2000 – 20
2010 – 26

Balfour is home to numerous vacant structures, including an impressive abandoned school. Balfour’s current residents are doing a very good job of safeguarding the town’s history when it comes to out of town visitors. They approached us for a friendly chat within ten minutes of our arrival.

All photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, Copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

See Also: Balfour Public School

See Also: Back to Balfour

Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy