Browsed by
Tag: playground

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.

Read More Read More

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

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 article, Bowden characterized a number of North Dakota communities, including Hanks, truthfully with respect to their shrinking populations, but in terms that many found depressing or disparaging.

Read More Read More

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

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.

Barton, North Dakota

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 sides of its former main street–Barton Street.

Barton, North Dakota

Barton, North Dakota

Update: We’re told the Barton Sportsman’s Club was torn down in Summer of 2013. If anyone can confirm, please comment below.

Barton, North Dakota

Barton, North Dakota

Barton, North Dakota

Barton, North Dakota

There was once a school in Barton, and the town had over two hundred residents at one time.  If someone can tell us what building these steps once led to, we’d love to hear it in the comments.

Barton, North Dakota

Barton, North Dakota

This old home reminded us of Little House on the Prairie.  You can almost imagine weathering a blizzard in this little place, with a fire in the wood stove and a kettle of hot soup to keep you warm.

Barton, North Dakota

Barton, North Dakota

We’ve heard from one resident of Barton who seems to have a problem with the use of the word “abandoned” in describing some of the buildings, preferring to describe the structures as being “in disrepair” instead. In our opinion, it’s splitting hairs.

Merriam-Webster Definition of Abandoned: left without needed protection or care

Abandoned is not intended to mean unowned. If a building is no longer used for the purpose it was originally intended, if its windows are boarded up, if its gutters have fallen and the roof has caved in, if it has weeds and grass growing up around it, or if its been vandalized and never repaired, then it’s not a big stretch to call it abandoned, whether things are stored in it, and whether someone owns it or not.  Abandoned also doesn’t mean people are welcome to walk right in, or take things.

Barton, North Dakota

Barton, North Dakota

This would be a great place to spend a peaceful moment waiting for a bus, if there were any buses running in Barton.  As it is, it looks as though someone had a bonfire here.

Barton, North Dakota

Barton, North Dakota

The owner of the outhouse had a good sense of humor.

Barton, North Dakota

Barton, North Dakota

At the time of our visit, this old shop was on its last leg.

Barton, North Dakota

Barton, North Dakota



Barton, North Dakota

This photo of Barton Lutheran Church was featured in our hardcover coffee table book, Churches of the High Plains.

Barton, North Dakota

Barton, North Dakota

Barton, North Dakota

Barton, North Dakota

Barton has a very impressive city park which hosts (or hosted) Haakenson family reunions every year for a time.

Barton, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

Get Notified

Join 5,559 other subscribers



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

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.

Read More Read More

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

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.

Lefor, ND

Order Book Two

Lefor, ND

Lefor, ND

Lefor, ND

Lefor, ND

Lefor, ND

Lefor, ND

Lefor, ND

Lefor, ND

Lefor, ND

We took a look inside this vault and saw someone had been storing stuff inside, so we didn’t go in even though the door was open.

Lefor, 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. @NorthDakotaTroy

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

Order the Book

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. @NorthDakotaTroy

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 a store plus I’ m sure other businesses.  The school became a museum of which I have pictures included… My Uncles farmed the old Nelson homestead so we used to visit a lot out there from the late 40’s and on.  My children and family used to frequent the Museum when we would visit the Uncles in the late 70’s and early 80’s.  It was quite a museum and how long it has been closed now I have no idea.”

More of Clif’s comments are included as captions below.

It’s interesting to note the presence of the former Bonetraill school and the Zahl depot in Hanks.  It’s quite common for structures to be moved from a vanishing town to another location, many times for use as a museum or other historically-oriented destination.  In this case the structures have been moved from one withering location to another.

Hanks was featured in the National Geographic article “The Emptied Prairie” in 2008.  You can also check out John Piepkorn’s gallery of Hanks photos from 2010 here.

Back side of the old chicken hatchery

Back side of the Zahl depot…Zahl was about 5 miles east of Hanks on the Railroad line and the highway

Front of the old Zahl depot

Former bank building in Hanks, later had a gas pump in front of it, so it maybe was a store and or gas station in later life.

Old Pioneer Trails Museum. Was the school at one time.

Bonetraill township one room grade school. Township was north of Hanks.

Photos by Clif Nelson. Original content copyright ©2016 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

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 operating one room schoolhouse in Barnes County.  Once, over 100 of these tiny institutions dotted the prairie, serving every township in the county.

Today, most of the school buildings are gone, and few people remain who can remember life in a frontier 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

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. @NorthDakotaTroy

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.

Conway, North Dakota

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 Walsh county, and lodged them in the city jail.

At an early hour Sunday morning the jail was discovered to be on fire, and before the flames could be extinguished, one of the vagrants was cremated and the other two have since died from frightful burns.  It is supposed the men tried to burn a whole [sic] through which they could escape and the blaze got beyond their control.

Conway, North Dakota

US Census Data for Conway
Total Population by Place

1900 – 216
1910 – 184
1920 – 148
1930 – 100
1940 – 120
1950 – 107
1960 – 67
1970 – 57
1980 – 33
1990 – 24
2000 – 23
2010 – 23

Conway, North Dakota

Order Ghosts of North Dakota Books

Conway, North Dakota

Every vacant lot we saw, we wondered whether it was the site of the former jail mentioned in the New York Times article.

Conway, North Dakota

Conway, North Dakota

Conway, North Dakota

Conway, North Dakota

Conway Memorial Park was dedicated to the soldier shown below, Lt. Frank L. Vorachek.  We were able to determine that he was a veteran of the Army Air Corps ca. 1916-17, and that he later graduated from the UND School of Law.  If anyone else knows more about Lt. Voracheck, we’d like to hear from you.

Sadly, the park doesn’t seem to get much use anymore.

Conway, North Dakota

Terry walked into this belt of trees and discovered the park.

Conway, North Dakota

It is sometimes… unsettling, to be in a playground where there are no children to play.

Conway, North Dakota

Conway, North Dakota

Conway, North Dakota

Conway, North Dakota

Conway, North Dakota

Conway, North Dakota

Conway, North Dakota

All of the furniture is falling into the basement. Note the spiderweb in the doorway.

Conway, North Dakota

Conway, 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. @NorthDakotaTroy

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, North Dakota

Alkabo is home to a handful of residents (there were only 19 remaining in 1976), and is situated on the side of a hill with the school at the top.

Alkabo, North Dakota

The former Alkabo School is now a museum and we’re told it’s open by appointment.

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

After the destruction of the structures in Fillmore, North Dakota, Alkabo’s Main Street remains as one of the most impressive examples of an abandoned business district, with old vacant buildings standing side-by-side. Most of the structures east of Main Street are now abandoned, while Alkabo’s remaining residents inhabit the west side of town.

Alkabo, North Dakota

The railroad that gave rise to Alkabo still passes through at the south end of town, but there is no depot and the trains no longer stop.

Alkabo, North Dakota

On the fair right, a common sight in towns like Alkabo — the bank vault still stands but the bank is gone.

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

This old structure stands on Stromstad Street, and looks like it might have been a school. If you know, please leave a comment.

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

Alkabo, North Dakota

If you build it, they might come, but will they stay?

Alkabo, North Dakota

Open basements, structural ruins, and vacant buildings dot the townsite.

Alkabo, North Dakota

Know somebody who would enjoy a North Dakota-centric gift? Check out our hardcover coffee table books, coffee, and gift sets in the store.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

Join 5,559 other subscribers

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

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. 

Read More Read More

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

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
2000 – 26
2010 — 27

Bucyrus fell victim to a wildfire on October 17th, 2012.  The town’s residents were evacuated, but numerous homes were lost to fire.

 

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, 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. @NorthDakotaTroy

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 itself is gone.

Hannah was originally two settlements a couple of miles apart, founded separately as “Hanna” and “Hannah”. The two eventually combined at the railroad line and adopted the name of “Hannah” in honor of early resident (and Father-in-law to the postmaster) Frank Hannah. Hannah’s most prominent former residents woud be Russel Reid, one-time head of the North Dakota Historical Society, and Ethel Catherwood, who eventually adopted Canada as her home and won a Gold Medal for them in the 1928 Olympics.

CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

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