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

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

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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 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…

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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 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…

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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 A visitor…

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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. Troy LarsonTroy Larson is an author,…

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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. Troy LarsonTroy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy http://www.sonictremormedia.com

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. Unfortunately, Marmarth is also a town where we have not had very good…

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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. Troy LarsonTroy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from…

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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. According to the 2010 Census, there are 62 residents of Nome, North Dakota. In 2005, Terry and I stopped in Nome to…

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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. Troy LarsonTroy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy http://www.sonictremormedia.com

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…

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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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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…

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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……

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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. These photos were contributed by Jeff Baumann….

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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…

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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 is home to a handful of residents (there were only 19 remaining in 1976), and…

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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 Bantry township hall. The former bank was packed full of stuff. We featured…

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A Robbery in Merricourt

A Robbery in Merricourt

Host/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. Troy LarsonTroy Larson is…

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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…

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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. Photo by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC Troy LarsonTroy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy http://www.sonictremormedia.com

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…

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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…

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