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Hamberg Flashback

Hamberg Flashback

We visited Hamberg, North Dakota, a near ghost town in Wells County, about 18 miles east of Harvey, for the first time in 2008, to photograph an old school which has since burned in an accidental fire. Thanks to Heidi Ermer, we can now take a brief look at Hamberg as it appeared in yesteryear when there were residents numbering in the hundreds, as versus the approximate 20 residents who live there today. Heidi sent us the following postcards. The…

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What Happened to Ghost Town Omemee, North Dakota?

What Happened to Ghost Town Omemee, North Dakota?

Omemee, North Dakota, a ghost town in Bottineau County, has been a source of intrigue since we first became aware of it in 2005. We were initially made aware of Omemee by a North Dakota resident who alerted us that someone was trying to sell lots in Omemee to out-of-state buyers under questionable circumstances, an effort which amounted to nothing in the end. Later, Fargo resident Mark Johnson sent us some photos of Omemee taken around 2010, and we also…

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Postcards from the Edge of North Dakota

Postcards from the Edge of North Dakota

This is a simple truth. There is no greater pleasure per penny than searching through a box of old postcards in an antique store. A little hard on the lower back if you’re wearing the wrong pair of shoes, but pleasurable none-the-less. Here are a few old postcards featuring scenes from Marmarth. Year of the above photo is unknown but I’m guessing early 1930s. Look closely — on the left, behind the grassy median, several black sedans are parked. And on the…

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Vintage Views of Devils Lake

Vintage Views of Devils Lake

We’ve been collecting postcards and vintage photos for years with the intention of doing a book one day. Today, I discovered a couple postcards depicting vintage views of Devils Lake, and thought we should share these on the site. The quality of the first postcard was so good, we were able to zoom and bring out some interesting details. Troy LarsonTroy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota….

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Vintage View of Bismarck, Dakota Territory, 1883

Vintage View of Bismarck, Dakota Territory, 1883

In 1883, Bismarck had only been “Bismarck” for ten years, having existed first as a tiny frontier settlement called Missouri Crossing, then as Edwinton, until 1873. Bismarck assumed an important place in the history of the American west when it supplanted Yankton as the capital of Dakota Territory in 1883. Settlers were soon streaming in. 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

Three Cogswell Churches

Three Cogswell Churches

We stopped in Cogswell specifically to photograph the beautiful United Methodist Church, and to see if a church shown on our postcard from 1918 was still standing. In the process, we ran across another boarded-up church we didn’t know was there. Cogswell is in Sargent County, about 60 miles west of Wahpeton. According to the 2010 Census, Cogswell has a population of 99 residents. Pastor Steve Olson left a comment on our Facebook page to say the church “is still…

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Sanish Rodeo and More

Sanish Rodeo and More

Sanish is no more.  It disappeared beneath the waves when the Garrison Dam created Lake Sakakawea and we’ve spent some time collecting photos of old Sanish when it still existed.  These photos were sent in by Don Hammer, scans he got from a friend’s scrap book years ago. These are mostly in the 1950 to ’53 era. 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

Letters to Lostwood

Letters to Lostwood

We visited Lostwood, North Dakota in 2010 and found, in addition to a few farms in the neighborhood, only a well-cared for church and a boarded up school as the only real remains of Lostwood. However, Tim Steele recently sent us some photos with the following comments: I have two photos of the Steele Store and Post office in Lostwood.  Can anyone help me with dates or any info on the Post Office.  These pictures came from my grandfather’s photo album. I…

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Omemee and the Batie Family

Omemee and the Batie Family

These photos were sent in by Cathy Zabel, a collection of things on Omemee, North Dakota, a true ghost town in Bottineau county. Omemee once had a population of 650 residents, and every kind of business one would expect from a prairie town of its size — a hotel, restaurant, grain elevators, opera house, even a newspaper — but today it has almost entirely vanished from the landscape, so we’re especially grateful for Cathy’s submission. It’s a chance to travel back…

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When Omemee Was a Town

When Omemee Was a Town

We first learned about Omemee, North Dakota, a ghost town in Bottineau County, through contributors Mark Johnson and Tom Tolman, who contributed photos of Omemee as it looked around the turn of the millennium.  Those images were all we had ever seen of Omemee until quite recently.  Despite all the time we spend rummaging around at estate sales and antique stores in our free time,  postcards and photos of Omemee just didn’t seem to pop up very often. So, Tim…

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Two Views of Blabon, 97 Years Apart

Two Views of Blabon, 97 Years Apart

These two dramatically different views of Blabon, North Dakota vividly depict how quickly things changed for some small North Dakota railroad communities in the twentieth century. The postcard above was sent to Olaf Andersen in Detroit on October 4th, 1916 with a message written in a foreign language. The photo by C.A. Sund reveals an entire townscape which has virtually vanished from the prairie with the exception of the two homes on the left. In 2013, the two homes above…

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Minot Central High School

Minot Central High School

The space where Minot High School’s Central Campus now stands has a long history as home to several impressive schools, one of which also happens to be my alma mater.  In 1893, a far-too-small schoolhouse was replaced with the building below – Central School, sometimes referred to as “Central Graded School” with the “d”. 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

Fargo’s Front Street, 1909

Fargo’s Front Street, 1909

If you’re fascinated by history, you know postcards are really a simple pleasure. You can tease so many stories out of a few fine details when you look close. This intersection in Fargo is significant in the history of our state as the place where Fargo literally rose from the ground after the NP Avenue Railroad Bridge was completed in 1872, less than a mile to the east.  It was the first railroad bridge across the Red River at a…

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Lost Beneath the Lake: Sanish, North Dakota

Lost Beneath the Lake: Sanish, North Dakota

Old Sanish, North Dakota came to an end in 1953, when the river valley it occupied for over half a century became the bottom of North Dakota’s newest reservoir, Lake Sakakawea. Sanish’s residents left for higher ground, as did the residents of other low-lying towns like Van Hook and Elbowoods. 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

Ten More Lost North Dakota Places

Ten More Lost North Dakota Places

Sometimes we photograph a place and find out years later that it’s gone, sometimes the place is gone by the time we get there.  But the one constant is that the list of places is growing all the time. Here’s another list of ten more significant North Dakota places that have unfortunately lost their battle with time. When you’re done with this one, check out 10 Lost North Dakota Places, and 8 More Lost North Dakota Places. Troy LarsonTroy Larson is an…

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Building LaMoure County Courthouse

Building LaMoure County Courthouse

This is a vintage post card view of LaMoure County Courthouse while it was still under construction in LaMoure, North Dakota.  The courthouse was constructed in 1907.  Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The wikipedia entry for this courthouse reads, in part: The structure includes a highly-detailed, metal-covered dome with bull’s eye windows topped by a ball finial. An octagonal tower with columns and arched windows supports the dome. The front facade features four large…

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Nome School: Then and Now

Nome School: Then and Now

Nome School in Barnes County — 1919 and 2005. Animation by Troy Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC 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

Vintage Nome Postcards

Vintage Nome Postcards

We found a couple of vintage Nome postcards at an antique store not too long ago, including a postcard of the now-abandoned Nome School in Barnes County which we snapped on a whim while passing through Nome in 2005. We had to make some guesses on this card due to the handwriting — This postcard was sent on September 24th, 1919 from Laura Sigurdson to Miss Signe Bratt (who was a teacher herself in Northfield) in Lawton, North Dakota.  It reads…

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San Haven Postcard 1940

San Haven Postcard 1940

I found this postcard in a box at an antique store.  It’s a postcard of San Haven Sanatorium in 1940.  I was impressed that this postcard shows an overview of the grounds including the beautiful gardens and water feature which are now completely dry and overgrown. This postcard was sent by someone named Olga, who must have been visiting a patient named Hilda, to Mrs. Harold Wendt in Columbia, Wisconsin on February 19th, 1940.  It reads: Dear Mabel, How are you all?…

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Balfour Public School

Balfour Public School

This is the former Balfour Public School.  It was built sometime between 1899 and 1910.  Other than that, we know very little about this school, or what happened to it.  If you know more about this school, we would invite you to click on the photo below and add your comments on the ensuing page.  Note the former Balfour church in the background. We found this postcard going through some old files but we have no record of who sent…

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More of the Fargo Waldorf

More of the Fargo Waldorf

We added a postcard of the Fargo Waldorf as it looked in 1911 a few days ago.  Here are a few more looks at this long gone Fargo landmark.  In the first postcard below from 1906 or ’07, the Northern Pacific Depot is center-left, and the Waldorf is the four-story building center-right.  This view is looking southeast from the tracks at 8th Street North. The postcard above was sent to Miss Margaret Kelly in Detroit, Michigan in February of either…

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Fargo College

Fargo College

This is the long gone Fargo College in Fargo, North Dakota.  The building shown in this postcard, Jones Hall, was completed in 1890.  By 1915, there were two more buildings flanking this one, Dill Hall, and the Fargo College Library, a Carnegie Library which was dedicated by former President Theodore Roosevelt.  The school shown here was located on the hill just south of Island Park in Fargo.  All the open space you see in this postcard is now filled with…

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Waldorf Hotel 1911

Waldorf Hotel 1911

I was rummaging through a box of old postcards at an antique store some time ago and I found this old damaged postcard of the Fargo Waldorf Hotel in 1911.  I did a restoration job on the postcard and came up with this. The Waldorf in Fargo was built in 1899, right across the street from the depot.  For immigrants from the east, this was frequently the first stop in North Dakota for a lot of travelers fresh off the train….

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Stady in 1915

Stady in 1915

Steve Ray contributed the following postcard of Stady. Steve writes: It was mailed in June 1915 from Clara Leraas, who lived with her family a couple miles east of Stady, to her mother-in-law, Martha Leraas of Barrett, MN. To see our main Stady Gallery with photos contributed my Mariah Masilko, click here. Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC Troy LarsonTroy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota….

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Brantford, ND

Brantford, ND

Brantford was established in 1910, two years before the Great Northern railroad arrived. Brantford reportedly had 200 residents in 1920, but slowly lost population over the years until the post office was finally closed in 1973. The following photos of Brantford today were contributed by Mark Johnson. His comments on the church shown below: “Church located immediately next to farm, note the steeple has been removed and is setting right in front of it. The location of this church is…

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Blabon, ND

Blabon, ND

Steele County Inhabited as of 10/04 Blabon, ND is in Steele County, not far from another ghost town on this site, Sherbrooke, ND. Blabon is the first ghost town we ever investigated. It is presently inhabited by approximately 8 to 12 people. As many as three houses were clearly occupied and one trailer home had a satellite dish on the side. Blabon was founded in 1896, named for Joseph Ward Blabon, a Great Northern Railroad official who visited the townsite…

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North Dakota Postcards

North Dakota Postcards

These Ghosts of North Dakota 4 x 6 postcards are professionally printed in the USA on premium, heavy cardstock, with a beautiful glossy finish.  On the back, each card features a brief description of the place pictured. These postcards come in packs of fifteen — three cards from each of the five scenes:  St John’s Lutheran in Arena, Barton Country School #8, North American Bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Sims and Brantford, North Dakota. North Dakota Postcards 15-pack $12.95…

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