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Tag: Lamoure County

A Look Back in Time in Berlin, North Dakota

A Look Back in Time in Berlin, North Dakota

We recently received an interesting batch of photos from Paul Ensign regarding Berlin, North Dakota. It’s a place we first became aware of when Sabrina Hornung sent us some photos back in 2011, and which we visited for ourselves in 2012.

Paul’s Great Grandfather was Wilhelm G. Lentz, proprietor of the Berlin Blacksmith & Wagon Shop around 1912, and the photos Paul sent along from his collection are very interesting.

Berlin, North Dakota

Beginning with the birds-eye view shown above, a photo from 1904 which was likely taken from the top of the grain elevator, we can identify three buildings which still stand in Berlin. We can see (1) the building known today as Legion Hall of Berlin, Post 206.

Below, the building in 2011.

Berlin, North Dakota

Around the corner is the former Blacksmith Shop.

Berlin, North Dakota

Above, the Blacksmith Shop sometime around 1912 to 1915. Below, the Blacksmith Shop in 2011. It’s numbered (2) in the birds-eye shot at the top of the page.

Berlin, North Dakota

Berlin, North Dakota

Above, another photo of the exterior of the Blacksmith Shop. Below, the interior of the Blacksmith Shop circa 1915. Paul says his Great Grandfather, Wilhelm Lentz “is center on in the photo with his children lined up to his left. My grandmother, Ella E Lentz Ensign is the youngest and farthest away from Wilhelm. She was born 22 Nov. 1910. My guess is that she is about 4 years old in this photo – maybe 5.”

Berlin, North Dakota

Below, the shop looks like an abandoned relic.

Berlin, North Dakota

Below, the derelict fire house in Berlin as it appeared in 2012. It’s numbered (3) in the birds-eye view at the top of the page.

Berlin, North Dakota

Paul sent along one last photo, which he also believes was taken in Berlin, below. “My Grandmother (Ella E Lentz Ensign) is on the right in the pic – her older sister Ida is on the left.”

Berlin, North Dakota

Unfortunately, most of the other buildings visible in the birds-eye view at the top of the page have been lost to the sands of time, including the depot. What do you know about Berlin, North Dakota? Please leave a comment below.

Photos courtesy Paul Ensign and Sabrina Hornung, original content copyright © 2016 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

Spring in Jud, North Dakota

Spring in Jud, North Dakota

This is Jud, North Dakota, in Lamoure County, about 14 miles northwest of Edgeley.

Jud, North Dakota

Jud is far from a ghost town — there were 72 residents according to the 2010 census, but we found out about Jud after someone suggested there was a school that might be a good photo opportunity, and upon further investigation, we were very excited to find this church on the edge of town.

Jud, North Dakota

Doug Wick’s “North Dakota Place Names” says Jud was first named Fox, then Gunthorpe before the name was changed to Jud in 1906 to honor Judson Lamoure, the politician who also lent his name to the county.

Jud, North Dakota

This is St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Jud, North Dakota

Jud, North Dakota

Jud, North Dakota

This church was featured in our book, “Churches of the High Plains,” and prints of this church are available in our Etsy store.

Jud, North Dakota

Jud, North Dakota

Jud, North Dakota

Service Dogs of America has a facility right behind this school.

Jud, North Dakota

Geese migrating north over the former Public School.

Jud, North Dakota

Jud, North Dakota

This museum is open by appointment only.

Jud, North Dakota

Jud, North Dakota

The last gas price on this pump was over $2/gallon. Maybe it hasn’t been out of service for as long as it looks.

Jud, North Dakota

Jud, North Dakota
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, © 2016 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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Grand Rapids School

Grand Rapids School

Grand Rapids, North Dakota is a town in Lamoure County that owes its existence to a lie. Captain Homer T. Elliot built the first homestead between Jamestown and Huron, Dakota Territory here in 1879. Not wanting to travel many miles to get his mail every day, Elliot reported to the government that a town called Grand Rapids had sprung up, and appointed himself Postmaster.

Grand Rapids, North Dakota

It was a self-serving lie. A town named Grand Rapids did not yet exist. Nevertheless, a stagecoach line arrived soon after, and then another. If it weren’t for Elliot’s little white lie, Grand Rapids, North Dakota would not exist today.

Grand Rapids, North Dakota

We visited Grand Rapids specifically to photograph this school which, according to a fading plaque on the site, was built in 1916 but hasn’t been used since 1962.

Grand Rapids, North Dakota

Grand Rapids, North Dakota

Grand Rapids, North Dakota

A small one-room school stands in the weeds just down the road.

Photos and Video by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp copyright © 2014 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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Return to Deisem

Return to Deisem

When we planned our trip in early October of 2014, we realized we would be in the area of Deisem and made plans for a return visit. Deisem’s former church, the lone remaining structure, was in such terrible shape last time we were there, we didn’t know whether it would even be standing when we returned.

Deisem, North Dakota

There it was, right along Highway 34, northwest of Edgeley, still standing but looking like more than two years had passed since our last visit.

Deisem, North Dakota

Once you get past the sadness for a place forgotten and left to wither in the elements, there becomes a certain magic to abandoned places like the church in Deisem; the last remaining structure from this tiny vanishing rural settlement. Angled rays of sunshine beam through the windows, and golden dust motes swirl in the light when your shoe scuffs a wood floor laid down by craftsmen nearly a century ago. The silence is deafening, and for a few more moments at least, the place still stands.

Deisem, North Dakota

The trains once came through Deisem, but the tracks were torn up long ago.  You can still see the telltale ridge of the railbed, running from southwest to northeast through this section of land.

Deisem, North Dakota

The building that was the Post Office and Store burned down on January 30th, 1943, and the loss spelled the end for the rural settlement that was once Deisem.

Deisem, North Dakota

Deisem, North Dakota

This church is featured in our book, Churches of the High Plains.

Deisem, North Dakota

You can definitely see how the floor on the left has sunk considerably since our last visit.

Deisem, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2016 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. @NorthDakotaTroy

Derelict Firehouse in Berlin, North Dakota

Derelict Firehouse in Berlin, North Dakota

Berlin, North Dakota is a small town in Lamoure County in southeastern North Dakota. Although many of the structures which once existed in Berlin are now gone (the school for one), there are some impressive structures still standing. Sabrina Hornung contributed a few photos of Berlin in 2011. In the summer of 2012 we were able to get to Berlin and capture these photos for ourselves.

Berlin, North Dakota

This old fire station is in quite good condition. Hopefully someone has plans to maintain and/or restore this because the old fire stations are rapidly disappearing from North Dakota’s dwindling small towns.

Berlin Legion Post 206

This is the former bar and service station.

US Census Data for Berlin
Total Population by Place

1910 – 137
1920 – 130
1930 – 135
1940 – 132
1950 – 124
1960 – 78
1970 – 76
1980 – 57
1990 – 32
2000 – 35
2010 – 34

The ceiling and the floor of Pete’s Ponderosa — both caved in.

The former blacksmith shop.

berlin3

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Berlin, North Dakota

An old horse-drawn firewagon

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

Berlin, North Dakota, 2011

Berlin, North Dakota, 2011

Berlin is located in a sparsely populated region of south-central North Dakota, about 50 miles south southeast of Jamestown. Sabrina Hornung contributed these photos of Berlin. (In 2015, Sabrina became the Editor of the High Plains Reader in Fargo. Tweet her via HPR here.)

“I have included photos from Berlin ND. According to Wikipedia there were 35 people living in Berlin according to the 2000 Census. I stumbled upon an old blacksmith shop and everything was in tact except for the belt that connected the bellows. I also included a couple of photos from the old firehall. I thought that it was interesting that the remains of the fire wagon were still intact and in the building. One of the other buildings I came across was an old Legion building and I snapped a photo through the window. I have a cousin that lives in Berlin Germany that is always begging me to visit, so I sent her a photo of me in Berlin ND. She definitely got a kick out of that!”

We visited Berlin ourselves in 2012 and were thrilled at the photo opportunities. Not only is the fire station a great shot, but there’s an old blacksmith’s shop too.

Photos by Sabrina Hornung. 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. @NorthDakotaTroy