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Haymarsh, North Dakota

Haymarsh, North Dakota

Haymarsh is a rural community near Glen Ullin, North Dakota, about 50 miles west of Mandan.  It was originally founded in 1890.  The community, a cluster of three or four homes and nearby farmsteads, surrounds St. Clement Catholic Church and the former school of the same name.

During our visit to Haymarsh, just as we were getting ready to leave, some young people rode up on an ATV, followed by the Priest on another ATV.  As he rode by, wearing his collar, I thought to myself, “Now there’s something you don’t see everyday.”  It turns out they were having mass that day and they invited us to join them. Unfortunately we had too far to drive that day and did not have the time.  We left them with some of our postcards and wished them well.

Haymarsh, North Dakota

Haymarsh, North Dakota

Haymarsh, North Dakota

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Haymarsh, North Dakota

Haymarsh, North Dakota

Haymarsh, North Dakota

Russ Mancl uploaded the video below to YouTube with the following description: Sister Jeanne d’ Arc Kilwein, SCSC, remembers St. Clement School in Haymarsh, North Dakota. The Holy Cross Sisters staffed and managed the school for 44 years.

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.
Sims, North Dakota

Sims, North Dakota

Sims, North Dakota is a ghost town in Morton County, about 35 miles west of Mandan, just a few miles south of Interstate 94 — a place so hauntingly beautiful, we chose the photo above for the dustjacket cover of our second book.  Sims is a place people have been telling us to visit for nearly ten years, but it took us this long to find a way to work it into the schedule.

Sims, ND

Sims, ND

Sims, ND

Several structures remain standing in Sims — the old house you see here, plus the still-active Sims Scandinavian Lutheran Church and accompanying parsonage.  There are two more structures just to the north of Sims, but they’re on the other side of a now closed bridge, and posted “No Trespassing.”

Sims, ND

The Sims town site is abandoned — that is to say nobody actually lives there, although there are residents in the area, and the church is a landmark.  There is a comprehensive website dedicated to Sims and nearby Almont here.  Make sure you check out the publications — fascinating reading in pdf format.

Sims, North Dakota

Sims, ND

Sims, ND

Sims, ND

Sims was featured in our second book, Ghosts of North Dakota Vol. 2.

Sims, ND

Sims, ND

Sims, ND

sims3

The view from the cemetery, looking down on the Sims town site.

Sims, 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.
The Pastoral Remains of Coulee, North Dakota

The Pastoral Remains of Coulee, North Dakota

Coulee is a tiny unincorporated town in the far northeast corner of Mountrail county, about 40 miles northwest of Minot.  Our Savior’s Scandinavian Lutheran Church, a few miles west of Coulee, is on the National Register of Historic Places.  Unfortunately, we didn’t find out about it until after our visit.  We’ll get it next time.

Coulee, North Dakota

Coulee is actually the second town to wear the name. There was another Coulee in Pembina County, which later became Hallson, and it is now a virtual ghost town.

Coulee, North Dakota

Coulee, North Dakota

It looks like the last business in this building was Henry Schapp’s Liquor Store.

Coulee, North Dakota

Coulee, North Dakota

We’re told the home shown above was once the parsonage of the Coulee Lutheran Parish.

Coulee, North Dakota

Coulee, North Dakota

Above and below: The sad remains of a former church. We got to Coulee a few years too late.

Coulee, North Dakota

Coulee, North Dakota

Coulee, North Dakota

Many homes like this are left abandoned when the last elderly resident passes on and there’s nobody around to move in. Others are left vacant when a family packs up and moves on for greener pastures. Which one happened here, we don’t know.

Coulee, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2017 Sonic Tremor Media

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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.
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.

Bethel Luthern Church, Rural Wildrose

As we drove along highway 50 between Alamo and McGregor, North Dakota, we were absolutely struck by the beauty of the drive. Lakes dotted the landscape like blue jewels in a rolling green setting. Suddenly, along the side of the road in the distance, Terry spotted a steeple. As we approached, it just looked too good to pass up, so we decided to stop and shoot this church — Bethel Lutheran Church, rural Wildrose. What a beautiful place.

Bethel Luthern Church, Rural Wildrose

Bethel Luthern Church, Rural Wildrose

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.
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.

Landa, North Dakota

Landa, North Dakota

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 two vacant churches, a one room school house, and more.  There was also a somewhat modern school which someone has turned into an auto shop, and there some guys hanging around outside, so we chose not to photograph it.

Landa, North Dakota

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Landa, North Dakota

Landa, North Dakota

Landa, North Dakota

Once upon a time, this was the heart of Landa… the stopping point where residents gathered their goods and caught up on each other’s lives. Today, groceries are bought in other places, in bigger towns down the road.

Landa, North Dakota

Landa, North Dakota

We just love these old filling stations like this. Tiny little places where a couple guys came out and filled your tank, washed your windows, and sent you on your way.

Landa, North Dakota

Landa, 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.
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.

Brantford, North Dakota

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 abandoned homes, multiple foundations from buildings that no longer exist, the former Brantford Public School, and a church which was moved to a farm and then abandoned.

Brantford, North Dakota

The view out the froont door from Brantford Public School

The view out the front door from Brantford Public School. Hundreds of little feet once strolled that sidewalk, but now it’s barely holding back the prairie; grass and weeds are poking through every crack.

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Right inside the front door of Brantford Public School,

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

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Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

A former pump house

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

This was once somebody’s driveway.

Brantford, North Dakota

There were thousands of bees buzzing around these hives, but they didn’t bother us at all.

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

We waded through chest-high grass in places to get to the beautiful church at the back of this farmstead.

Brantford, North Dakota

This church appears to have been moved to this farmstead, for what purpose, we don’t know. The entire place is now vacant with only the bee colony on site.

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, North Dakota

Brantford, 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.
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 we’re happy to oblige.  We’ll probably do more in the future.  Enjoy.

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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.
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 the town in two.

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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.
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 back has also crumbled in the last nine years.

The yellow house last occupied by the grandparents of Marlon Leno (his account is in the comments section, here) is obviously visited by vandals and party-hounds from time to time — the devastated window frames tell the story.  The small white school house which was moved to the Arena town site from somewhere else still looks solid.

On the trip that led us to Arena on Memorial Weekend of 2013, we were plagued by terrible weather all morning.  Flat gray, overcast skies, fog and rain.  When we arrived in Arena, we expected more of the same.  But something incredible happened the moment we got close to the church — the sun peeked out and some blue sky started to show. We couldn’t help but smile and start snapping.

Arena, ND

Arena, ND

Arena, ND

Arena, ND

Arena, ND

Arena, ND

Arena, ND

Arena, ND
Arena, ND

Arena, ND

Arena, 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.
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, ND

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 the township hall.

Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

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Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

The condition of the base of this elevator doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. It looks like it will topple over if you ask me.

Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

Roseville, ND

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.
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.

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Olga, North Dakota

Photos by 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.
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 2008.

Flora, North Dakota

The owner of this church has taken the care to install a steel roof, which probably extended the life of this place by decades. Awesome.

Flora, North Dakota

Flora, North Dakota

Flora, North Dakota

Flora, North Dakota

Flora, North Dakota

North Dakota Postcards

Flora, North Dakota

Flora, 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.
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, North Dakota

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 see the condition of the church now… see it here.  See the rest of our Bentley galleries here.

Bentley, North Dakota

Bentley, North Dakota

Bentley, North Dakota

Bentley, North Dakota

Bentley, North Dakota

Bentley, North Dakota

Bentley, North Dakota

Bentley, North Dakota

Bentley, North Dakota

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Bentley, North Dakota

Bentley, North Dakota

There were vehicles parked in front of this old school and we were unable to get a good shot.

Bentley, 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.
Fillmore’s Lost Legacy

Fillmore’s Lost Legacy

A half dozen structures or more have been lost to fires of questionable origin in Fillmore in recent years, a story which we addressed here.  As a result, we went back into our photo archive and chose to add to the site these photos, which we’ve never before posted. Most of what you see here is now gone.

 

Fillmore

This building is now gone.

Fillmore

Fillmore

The rail line which once ran past Fillmore went right through this cut in the ridgeline.

Fillmore

Fillmore

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Fillmore

Fillmore

Fillmore

Fillmore

Fillmore

fillmore2-5

Fillmore

fillmore2-1

Both of these buildings are now gone.

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.
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.
Auburn, ND

Auburn, ND

Auburn is a very small town in Walsh County, north of Grafton.  There was an active harvest happening the day I visited, and most of the homes are still inhabited.  The population appears to be a dozen or two.

Due to a finicky camera, I was only able to capture the photos you see below on my Android.  The church is the most impressive structure on the townsite.  It looks like it’s been abandoned for some time, and it appears to be locked up tight.  There is also a grain elevator in Auburn that looks to be largely out of service, but certain parts of it are still being utilized.

Janis (Anderson) Friedrichs sent in a PDF of a newspaper story about Auburn which you can see here.

Photos by Troy, 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.
Orrin, ND

Orrin, ND

R. David Adams contributed these photos of Orrin, ND, a near ghost town in Pierce county, west of Fillmore.  We checked census records going back to 1920 and found no listing for Orrin.  As we’ve seen time and time again, Orrin began it’s final decline with the closure of the elevator, which happened in 1965.  The school shown below, and the last store, closed in 1972.

According to North Dakota Place Names by Douglas Wick, the population was just 35 in 1984.

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Photos by R. David Adams
Original Content 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.
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.
Monango, ND

Monango, ND

Monango is a small town in Dickey County, not far from Merricourt.

Monango was founded in 1886 as a Milwaukee Road Railroad settlement, and the post office was established that same year.  According to North Dakota Place Names by Douglas A. Wick, Monango peaked in population with 238 residents in 1910.  According to the 2010 Census, Monango has 36 residents today.

Monango is situated right along Highway 281, the most prominent north-south highway between US 83 and I29, but this area of the state is very spartan and quiet.  During our visit to Monango, we saw no fewer than six dogs and two goats, but not a single person.

Someone has turned this old building into a nice residence.

St. Pauls Lutheran Church.

Check out the tree. Monango survived a tornado in 2011.

That spot of dirt on the right is where a very large tree stood until the storm of 2011.

Photos by Troy and Rat, 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.
Sheyenne River Academy

Sheyenne River Academy

Sheyenne River Academy opened its doors on this site north of Harvey in 1904 and was in operation until the end of the 1976 school year.  It was a Seventh Day Adventist secondary school.  The new location known as Dakota Adventist Academy opened in 1977 near Bismarck.

 

Sheyenne River Academy

The present owner of the property is using the grounds and the buildings for horses and other livestock.  We knocked on a few doors at a nearby home in an attempt to get permission to go inside, but we were not able to find anyone around.  So we snapped a few quick photos and left, hoping to return some time in the future when we can get permission.

There are four buildings in the academy facility, but you can barely see it from the road. The main gate is fenced and no longer used.

Sheyenne River Academy

Someone has knocked out a window just to the left of the entrance to make it possible to park a vehicle inside the building.

Sheyenne River Academy

Do you have our hardcover photo book, Churches of the High Plains?

Sheyenne River Academy

Sheyenne River Academy has a Facebook page here, and you can read more about the history of the academy here.

Sheyenne River Academy

Sheyenne River Academy

Sheyenne River Academy

Note the dirt ramp on the front steps.

Sheyenne River Academy

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.
All That Remains of Deisem

All That Remains of Deisem

Since starting this website about North Dakota’s ghost towns and abandoned places in early 2004, suggestions about places to visit have been rolling in. One of the suggestions we’ve received on more than one occasion is a place called Deisem, North Dakota.

So in July of 2012, with fellow photographer and GND co-founder Terry Hinnenkamp, we set out for Deisem. Driving through LaMoure County just south of Jamestown, we turned onto what can only loosely be described as a “highway” — Highway 34, northwest of Edgeley. We discovered what was once a bright yellow line dividing two very narrow lanes is now barely visible, and gravel pokes through the asphalt in places. Traffic is nearly nonexistent.

Deisem, North Dakota

We arrived to discover this church is all that remains of Deisem, North Dakota. The location is remote. We were on site for about a half hour on a Saturday afternoon and we didn’t see a single car pass by.

This church was reportedly a Seventh Day Adventist church, and it is now in very tenuous condition. If it survives another heavy snowfall, we’ll be surprised. In hindsight, we were quite foolish to explore the inside at all, and we would strongly recommend you admire it from the outside if you should decide to visit. It could collapse at any moment.

Deisem, North Dakota

According to North Dakota Place Names by Douglas A. Wick, Deisem was founded in 1880. The Post Office was established in 1907, but was closed for good when the store it was housed in burned to the ground on January 30th, 1943. The end came officially in 1984 when the railroad pulled up stakes.

Deisem, North Dakota

According to reports by fans on our Facebook page, Deisem was quite a happening town back in the day, and was home to a well respected general store which is long gone. There are various foundations hidden in the tall grass on the former Deisem townsite though, remnants of a town now lost.

Deisem, North Dakota

The outhouse is gone, but the hole in the ground remains, and as is often the case in abandoned places, there are other hazards which remain hidden in the tall grass. It wouldn’t be hard to step in the wrong place and twist an ankle or a knee.

Deisem, North Dakota

Deisem, North Dakota

The remains of several crumbled foundations are nearby, near the rail line which pulled up stakes a long time ago.

Deisem, North Dakota

Deisem, North Dakota

The view from the pulpit.

Deisem, North Dakota

Deisem, North Dakota

Deisem, North Dakota

Deisem, North Dakota

Deisem, North Dakota

The stairway to the balcony.

Deisem, North Dakota

Deisem, North Dakota

Looking down from the balcony.

Deisem, North Dakota

Deisem, North Dakota

This church is far beyond saving and will soon collapse, if it hasn’t already.

Deisem, North Dakota

As we left Deisem, I took one last look in the mirror, all too aware that we may have photographed a place called Deisem for what may turn out to be the last time.

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.
Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden is a small town in Cavalier County, home to the Cavalier County Museum at Dresden, about six miles northwest of Langdon.  The museum is housed in the former Holy Trinity Church, an incredible field-stone structure erected in 1936.

Dresden is home to numerous historic structures in varying states of restoration, including the Dyer School which was moved to the site from Milton, the former Langdon Jail, and more.  The crew at the Cavalier County Historical Society is doing quite a job up there. They have their own blog where you can learn a lot more about Dresden and the attractions.

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Hopes for a boom spurred by the railroad were a longshot for many communities near the Canadian border.  Many of the railroad lines just petered out without actually crossing into Canada.

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

There’s a collector out there who would pay good money for that truck.

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Luxury accommodations in this 1896 jail cell from Langdon.

Dresden, North Dakota

Photos by 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.
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.

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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.
Pingree, ND

Pingree, ND

Pingree is a small town in Stutsman County, northwest of Jamestown.  According to the 2010 Census, Pingree is home to 60 residents.  Pingree was founded in 1881 and reached a peak population of 268 residents in 1920.

We didn’t have plans to visit Pingree, but we saw a few photo opportunities from the highway and decided to stop.  On the day we visited, several local residents were busy towing cars from the townsite.  There is a sizable auto repair/salvage operation in Pingree.

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

This church is beautifully well-kept and still in use.

Pingree, North Dakota

This church is beautifully well-kept and still in use.

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

The former Pingree depot and gazebo.

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Relics of Pingree’s railroad heritage are prominently displayed in town.

Pingree, North Dakota

Inside the caboose.

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

The former Pingree Jail — two cells.

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

Pingree, North Dakota

pingree20

Pingree, North Dakota

Photos by Troy and Rat, 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.
Arena in 1992

Arena in 1992

Arena was only the second true ghost town we ever visited, back in 2004.  At that time, the school had already been torn down and we were never able to locate some large photos of it, until now.

Thanks to these photos contributed by Dale Fisher, we can now see Arena as it looked in 1992.  There are a few interesting comparisons to be made with our photos from 2004:

In the photo above, we can see a small home which was not standing when we visited in 2004. The church still stands, as does the yellow house behind the two pine trees. But there was no trace of the little house in between. On the left side, the light brown structure (just above the car) was also gone by the time of our visit. And at the far left, partially cut off, is the little white building which we photographed and also still stands.

This was the Arena school — a place we really regret missing out on.  You can see the school looks remarkably better in this 1992 image as versus the image contributed by Stephen Berg in our Arena gallery… the windows are still intact in this image, and the structure just looks more stable.  Someone did a real number on this school in the twelve years between ’92 and ’04.

A question we’d still like to answer… what year did the last full-time resident move out of Arena?

Original Content 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.
Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia is a small town in Logan county, about 80 miles southeast of Bismarck.  We had not intended to stop in Fredonia, but we saw a few buildings we wanted to photograph, so we made a quick stop.

Occasionally, residents (or former-residents) of some of the towns featured on this site to take offense when we post photos of and/or talk about their town. We have encountered several visitors who are clearly offended that we have chosen to feature Fredonia on this website — users who believe we have somehow labeled Fredonia as a “ghost town” by featuring it on this website. Nothing could be further from the truth and we stand by what we’ve posted here.  This website is not only a chronicle of ghost towns, but individual abandoned places and buildings.  There are several locations which fit that description in Fredonia.

So, to make sure it is quite clear, Fredonia is not a ghost town, and we wouldn’t even classify it as a near-ghost town at this point, although in another decade or two, it may be.  The census data below supports that conclusion.  If we’re wrong and Fredonia begins to grow, we’ll be thrilled.

US Census Data for Fredonia
Total Population by Place

1920 – 296
1930 – 394
1940 – 309
1950 – 268
1960 – 141
1970 – 100
1980 – 82
1990 – 66
2000 – 54
2010 – 46

Fredonia, ND

A sleepy Sunday in Fredonia. Not many of the reported 46 residents around.

fredonia1

Fredonia, ND

This church was in really good shape and we’re told it is still used. The brick work is simply amazing.

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

fredonia5

Fredonia, ND

We were intrigued by this abandoned farmstead on the outskirts of Fredonia.

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

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Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, ND

Fredonia, 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.
Hensel, North Dakota: A Town with Two Names

Hensel, North Dakota: A Town with Two Names

We made a quick stop in Hensel during our visit to Pembina County in 2006.  Due to time constraints we were unable to explore Hensel as thoroughly as we would have liked, but we did capture these photos.

Hensel, North Dakota

Hensel is located in Pembina County, about eight miles southwest of Cavalier.  As of 2010, Hensel had a population of 45.

Hensel, North Dakota

We were unable to find a reference to Hensel in the 2010 North Dakota Census, and we assumed it had been delisted. However, after a comment from Curtis in the comment thread below, we did some searching and discovered Hensel has been legally known as “Canton Village,” “Canton City,” and just “Canton” at various times. A Google Maps search reveals Canton City and Hensel to be the same place.

The original Post Office building reportedly stood in a settlement known as Hensel, a short distance away, but it was moved to Canton City and retained its name (Hensel Post Office located in Canton City). Although the town is still officially Canton, roadsigns and many maps read “Hensel”, and locals consider Hensel the name of the town.

Hensel, North Dakota

The Hensel Hall was sealed up, so we assumed it hadn’t been used in some time. The art deco design on the front of the building, built in 1940, brings to mind images of the time in which it was built.

Hensel, North Dakota

Hensel, North Dakota

Hensel, North Dakota

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

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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.
Balfour in Winter

Balfour in Winter

Ria Cabral sent a few winter shots of Balfour. See more of her work at http://riacabralphotography.blogspot.com. To see photos from our trip to Balfour, click here.

Original content 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.
More Photos of Ambrose

More Photos of Ambrose

Laura Enerson Castro contributed these photos of Ambrose.  A few of her comments are listed as captions. To see photos from our trip to Ambrose, click here.

Original content 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.
Overly, North Dakota

Overly, North Dakota

According to the 2000 Census, Overly is home to 19 residents. James Johnson contributed these photos with the following comments:

I came to Overly with a goal of finding whatever remains of the old roundhouse. A satellite photograph of the town showed shapes in consistent with roundhouse layout just south of the town. You will have to walk in tall grass to find a turntable and old foundations of the roundhouse. Be extremely careful because you could trip over and be injured! In my review of the foundations I determined there were four service bays in the roundhouse. 

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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.