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Tag: Barnes County

The “City” of Leal, North Dakota

The “City” of Leal, North Dakota

Leal is a small town in Barnes county, an hour northeast of Jamestown, or 73 miles northwest of Fargo.  It was founded in 1892, and incorporated as a village in 1917, but in 1967, North Dakota eliminated the “village” and “town” incorporations in the state, making all incorporated places “cities.” So, today, Leal is a “city” with a population density of 142 residents per square mile. Sounds like a hoppin’ place, right? Not really. The population density figure is a mathematical quirk of a city with an area of .14 square miles and a population of 20 in the 2010 census.

Our stop in Leal was quick and we found just a little to photograph… a few select buildings and an abandoned farmstead outside of town.

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

Abandoned in the Sheyenne River Valley

Abandoned in the Sheyenne River Valley

This is an abandoned farmstead right along the Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway, just a few minutes south of Valley City, North Dakota.

People have occasionally asked us, “What’s the fascination with abandoned places like this?” and it’s a hard question to answer, but there’s a hint in places like this. When you see it for the first time, you’re struck by the contradiction of a beautiful setting in a rolling river valley marked by an abandoned home like this. Your mind conjures the questions soon after… “What was life like when a family called this home? Why did they leave?” Before you know it, you’ve spent an hour pondering it in your mind’s eye. 

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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

Northern Pacific High Line Bridge #64

Northern Pacific High Line Bridge #64

High Line Bridge in Valley City is the longest railroad bridge in the state and like the Gassman-Coulee Trestle in Minot and the Sheyenne River Bridge near Karnak, we chose to photograph it and feature it here due to the railroads’ pivotal role in settling North Dakota. All three of these bridges are still used daily.

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

Abandoned Barnes County School

Abandoned Barnes County School

This abandoned school was not a planned stop, but we happened to drive right by it and decided we should stop to shoot it. This abandoned country school is in northern Barnes County, about five miles southwest of Sibley, North Dakota. If anyone knows the official name of this school, please leave a comment below.

Update: a visitor has identified this school as Weiland’s St. Mary’s School

Abandoned Barnes County School

Abandoned Barnes County School

Abandoned Barnes County School

Abandoned Barnes County School

Abandoned Barnes County School

Abandoned Barnes County School

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