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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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A Lonely Outpost: Hanks, North Dakota

A Lonely Outpost: Hanks, North Dakota

Hanks, North Dakota, in Williams County, about 33 miles northwest of Williston, is a lonely outpost on the prairie, just one resident away from being a ghost town. Hanks was the subject of some national media in 2008 when National Geographic published The Emptied Prairie (available at the link only with a subscription) by Charles Bowden, a polarizing piece roundly denounced by many North Dakotans in letters to editors, in the Dickinson Press for example, or the Bismarck Tribune. In the…

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A Lonesome View on Barton Street

A Lonesome View on Barton Street

Originally called Denney, this unincorporated community was founded along the Great Northern Railroad in 1887.  The name was changed to Barton in 1893. Barton is in Pierce County, about twelve miles northwest of Rugby.  In the 2010 Census, it was listed as having 20 residents. We chose to visit Barton after a vocal visitor to our Facebook page suggested it on more than one occasion.  It turned out to be a great suggestion — Barton has abandoned buildings on both…

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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

More Views of Lefor

More Views of Lefor

These are a few more photos from our archive on Lefor, North Dakota, a place we visited in 2007. Lefor is still home to a small population, and the main landmark is the very impressive St. Elizabeth Catholic Church shown below.  Lefor is also the home of one of the best known cook books in North Dakota.  See our main Lefor gallery here. We took a look inside this vault and saw someone had been storing stuff inside, so we…

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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 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…

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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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King School

King School

This is the former King School, just a few miles south of Valley City along the Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway.  This building was erected in 1930, but it was preceded by another structure, also known as the King School, which was erected in the 1880’s on a different site. The plaque on location reads, in part: When the last students walked out of the King School in 1967, their departure marked the end of an era–the closure of the last…

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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…

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Jailbreak in Conway

Jailbreak in Conway

Conway is a near-ghost town in Walsh County, southwest of Grafton.  Conway’s peak population was reported in the 1900 census as 216.  Today the population is 23. On September 7th, 1897, the New York Times published the following story: KILLED TRYING TO ESCAPE Tramps Imprisoned in Conway Set Fire to Jail Fargo, ND. Sept 6th — The city marshal and a posse, after a hard fight, captured three tramps who had robbed several stores at Conway, a small town in western…

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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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Backoo’s Little Country School

Backoo’s Little Country School

Backoo, North Dakota was founded in 1887 along the Great Northern railroad line, about five miles northwest of Cavalier, however little development occurred and the population never exceeded fifty. The post office in Backoo operated from September 26th, 1887 until October 11th, 1988. Terry and I visited in 2009 and got these photos of one of the last remaining structures from the pioneer settlement that was Backoo, a little country school.  Troy LarsonTroy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer…

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Bucyrus, ND

Bucyrus, ND

Bucyrus, ND is along Highway 12 in southwestern North Dakota, east of Bowman. It was founded in 1907 as Wolf Butte, and was also known as Dolan for a time. Bucyrus is just down the road from some other places we’ve visited, like Gascoyne, Haley and Griffin. US Census Data for Bucyrus Total Population by Place 1920 – 113 1930 – 124 1940 – 117 1950 – 111 1960 – 60 1970 – 42 1980 – 32 1990 – 22…

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Hannah, ND

Hannah, ND

Cavalier County Inhabited as of 8-06 Hannah, ND is a Canadian border town in Cavalier County, directly north of Devils Lake. Hannah’s reported peak population was 262 in 1930. US Census Data for Hannah Total Population by Place 1960 – 253 1970 – 145 1980 – 90 2000 – 20 2010 — 15 Pictured below is the site of the former Hannah High School, now just a sign and an empty flag pole. The playground still remains, but the school…

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