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Vanishing Antler 2013

Vanishing Antler 2013

We’ve wanted to visit Antler for several years but it never quite fit into our travel plans until 4th of July weekend, 2013.  Antler is a very small town in Bottineau County, just two miles from the Canadian border.  The 2010 Census pinpoints Antler’s population at 27, although local residents claim a population of 35.  Local residents have fought valiantly at times to keep the population figure from dwindling, including an effort by two local residents in the 1980s to give away free land to families who would agree to move to Antler.  It worked in the short-term, with 6 families receiving land.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler has a rich and colorful history as a former Port of Entry, not to mention one-time World Record Holder for the World’s Largest Quilt.  There is a fascinating website dedicated to Antler’s history at AntlerND.com — a word of caution however, you will get lost in that site for hours.

We stopped for a beer at the I Have No Idea Bar & Grill (also known as The Cabin) while we were there… not the friendliest place to outlanders like ourselves, but they had good cold beer and the prices were reasonable.  You can see their Facebook page here.

Antler, North Dakota

This is the former Custom House for international travelers. It has also functioned as the Bank, Post Office, and Telephone Office.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

This was also a bank, older than the Bank/Custom House in the center of the town square. The AntlerND.com site has photos of this building when it was still surrounded by other structures. We featured this building in our book, Ghosts of North Dakota, Volume 3, and we’re glad we did, because in the spring of 2016, they tore it down after a white supremacist attempted to buy it, allegedly with plans to take over the town.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

On the left, the former firehouse and jail. On the right, the International Order of Odd Fellows hall.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Vince Azzarello sent in a photo gallery of Antler in 2012 which you can see here.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Tiny Tim once performed at the Antler Public School during a tour to support small schools.  Antler’s school is also featured in our third book.

Antler, North Dakota

This school was built in 1907. Hidden in the trees on the left, a quonset hut gymnasium built in 1949. On the right, a modern addition with extra classroom space, built in 1964.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

The Antler school closed in 1976.

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, North Dakota

Antler, 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.
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.
Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota is in Eddy County, not far from Tolna, about a half hour southeast of Devils Lake.  We met a local resident named Troy Gleason who gave us quite a bit of information on Hamar — the population is six, including a family of  three, two widows, and Troy.

Hamar, North Dakota

This former school still hosts meetings on occasion.

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar didn’t seem particularly remote compared to some of the places we’ve visited, so I was somewhat surprised to discover cell service was hit and miss.

Hamar, North Dakota

The building shown here is the former post office for Hamar.  Carla Christofferson, Miss North Dakota 1989, and now renowned Los Angeles attorney and co-owner of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, was raised on a farm near here, and Mr. Gleason told us Ms. Christofferson’s mother once ran the post office in Hamar out of this building. At one time, there was a trailer attached.

Hamar, North Dakota

 

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota was featured in our third book.

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, 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.
Inside Brantford Public School

Inside Brantford Public School

Exploring the abandoned Brantford Public School in Brantford, North Dakota.  This was Troy’s first time wearing the GoPro camera, and the moment he put it on, he forgot he was wearing it, so please ignore the ramblings and excuse the stomach-turning fast panning.  We’ll do better next time.

Note: this video is available in HD.

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.
Argusville: School’s Out

Argusville: School’s Out

We paid a brief visit to Argusville High School today and found things have changed quite a bit since our last visit in 2011.  The school was in a terrible state of disrepair and had been thoroughly vandalized when we last saw it, but it has since been boarded-up.

Argusville High School

The rusting twin fire escapes have been torn down, leaving the front of the school as it originally looked before they were erected.  Every door and window has now been boarded-up tight by the owner.  We spoke with him briefly during our visit and he told us the combination of vandalism and some questionable modifications by a previous owner contributed to some terrible water damage inside the school.

See what it looked like in 2011 here.

Argusville High School

UPDATE:  A visitor tells us the last class graduated from this school in 1997 when it was known as Cass Valley North High School. This school is featured in our hardcover book, Ghosts of North Dakota, Volume 1.

Argusville High School

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.
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.
Tuttle Country School

Tuttle Country School

This is a lonesome country school on County Road 3, about eight miles southeast of Tuttle in Kidder County.  Unfortunately, it was boarded up tight and there was very little to see.

Tuttle School

Tuttle School

Tuttle 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.
Sterling School No. 2

Sterling School No. 2

We’ve seen this school referenced online as Wing School #3, however the sign above the door appears to read Sterling No. 2.  The school is located closer to Wing than it is Sterling, so we wonder whether this school originally stood somewhere else and was moved to this spot, about 9 miles north of Wing.  If someone could shed some light on this school’s history, we would appreciate your insight.

Sterling School 2

Update:  Wanda Burrer posted on our Facebook page with more details.

“The school building was originally built in Sterling Township in Burleigh County in 1917 under the name , Sterling No. 2. This was about 22 [miles] south of where it is today. Due to declining enrollment the school closed in 1927. In 1937 Florence Lake Township purchased the schoolhouse and moved it to it’s present location after their building was destroyed by fire. Due to the financial struggles of the Great Depression Era it was easier and faster for the township to relocate an existing building instead of constructing a new school house. It served students till 1961. In November 2011 it was listed with the National Register of Historic Places. The Florence Lake Township is in the process of fixing it up.”

The architecture of this school is unique compared to the other country schools we’ve seen.

Sterling School 2

Sterling School 2

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Sterling School 2

Sterling School 2

Sterling School 2

Sterling School 2

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.
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.
Clear Lake School

Clear Lake School

This is one of two schools in Clear Lake Township which we’ve seen referenced as simply “Clear Lake School.”  This one sits near the junction of 26th Avenue SE and County Road 36, about two miles east of Tuttle in Kidder County.  The other is several miles east.  If you know the official name of either of these schools, we would appreciate your insight.  There is also a cemetery right across the road which we chose not to photograph due to some extremely wet conditions.

This part of North Dakota is teeming with wildlife.  We saw a bald eagle fly right over our car on the way to this school, a coyote on the side of the road, plus multiple deer, geese, and pheasants.  There was a roadkill deer carcass lying in the grass right near this school as well.

The school was locked up tight, but Terry managed to catch a shot of the inside by holding his camera up to a broken out window high on one exterior wall.

Clear Lake School

Clear Lake School

Clear Lake School

Clear Lake School

Clear Lake 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.
Weiser Township School

Weiser Township School

This one-room township school is located about fifteen miles north of Interstate 94 in a very sparsely populated part of Kidder County, surrounded by farm fields for miles in every direction.

 

Weiser School

Weiser School

We featured this school in our second book, Ghosts of North Dakota, Volume 2.

Weiser School

Weiser School

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Weiser School

We visited on Memorial Weekend of 2013, and in the coat room, we discovered a log book. The first entry on the log book reads: “These are the names of people who visited here, and left their names on the black boards. I copied them as well as I could.” — Ruth

The first few pages are in Ruth’s handwriting, and then eventually people started signing the log book themselves when they visited. The oldest entry we saw was from 1984, and the most recent was from January of 2013. What incredible foresight on the part of Ruth to log the comments on the chalkboard in a longer lasting medium.

Weiser School

Weiser School

Weiser School

Weiser School

Weiser 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.
Clear Lake School II

Clear Lake School II

This is one of two rural schools we photographed in Clear Lake Township, and we’ve seen it referenced simply as Clear Lake School.  Kathy Wilner emailed us to say she’s been documenting one-room schools for the North Dakota Historical Society and had the following comments:

It was [originally] located on the south side of a body of water called Long Alkaline Lake, straight north of Highway 36 on 31st Ave SE…  This would be east of Robinson. It was moved from North Merkel Township in northern Kidder County.  The person I visited with told me it was called Barton #8 and he attended 8 years of school there.

Today, it rests all alone in the middle of a farmer’s field, about four miles west of Robinson in Kidder County, right off County Road 36.

Clear Lake School

Clear Lake School

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Clear Lake School

Clear Lake School

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.
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.
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.
Nome School: Then and Now

Nome School: Then and Now

Nome School in Barnes County — 1919 and 2005.

nome-then-and-now

Animation by Troy
Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

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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.
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 as follows:

Dear Signe,

Did you think I had forgotten you entirely?  Oh no.  Am teaching here at Nome, 1st grade, and like it fine.  How are you anyway?  Do you hear from [name illegible]?  Where is she?  Send me her address will you?  Please write me [illegible] soon and tell me all about yourself.  Yours forever, Laura Sigurdson.

nome-school-postcard-1919-web

You can see what this school looked like in 2005, here.

nome-school-postcard-1919-back-web

In the same box of postcards, we also found this unmailed, undated postcard of Farmers State Bank in Nome.

nome-bank-web

nome-bankers-web

Some dapper looking gentlemen right there.

See the rest of our Nome, North Dakota material here.

Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

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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 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 it to us.  Thank you, whoever you are.

Balfour Public School Postcard

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

The college, Fargo’s first, closed it’s doors in 1922 due to financial problems.  There were plans to re-open the college, but the stock market crash and ensuing Great Depression ended those plans.  In 1940, Jones Hall and Dill Hall were demolished, and the Carnegie library was torn down in 1964.  The cornerstone is now at Bonanzaville in West Fargo.  The only remaining structure from Fargo College is the former Watson Hall Conservatory of Music at 601 Fourth Street South, which is now the home of the Fargo Fine Arts Club.

Today, it is hard to imagine razing buildings of this size and historical/architectural significance.  This is one more example of why we feel as passionately as we do about preserving our historic structures whenever and however we can.

fargo college

The postcard below shows Fargo College after Dill Hall had been constructed right next to Jones Hall.  Thanks to Jordan Doerr for the postcard.

Fargo College, Jones and Dill

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.
Acton School

Acton School

This is Acton School in Acton Township, Walsh County.  David Schultz sent in these photos with the following comments:

Not sure if you would be interested in these pictures of the Acton School. First classes held 1883 Last term was 1956. My Mom attended this school and my Grand Mother taught at it. School was getting in pretty poor condition so it was torn down this Spring but I thought I better get few pictures  of it before I knew the day was coming when it would be gone.

acton-school-2
acton-school-3
acton-school-4
acton-school-1
acton-school-5Visitors over the years wrote their names on the blackboard.  A close examination of the full-size photos sent by David Schultz reveals a few of the following names and inscriptions: Robin Robert – 1981, Kieley kids came from California (with a date that’s illegible), and various other hard to read stuff.

acton-school-6
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.
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.
The Remains of Munster Schoolhouse

The Remains of Munster Schoolhouse

When we set out to photograph this school, we believed it was still intact, so it came as a surprise when we arrived to see this.

This burned-out shell of Munster schoolhouse is all that remains of a town that never really was. Munster was a Great Northern Railroad loading station, established in 1912, about 30 miles southwest of Devils Lake  — there was a grain elevator, and this school. The grain elevator was torn down some years ago. You can see a 2009 photo of the school before it burned on this Flickr page, and compare it to Terry’s first photo below which is from a similar angle. Another North Dakota place which will soon be only a memory.

Munster School, Munster, North Dakota

Munster School, Munster, North Dakota

Munster School, Munster, North Dakota

Munster School, Munster, North Dakota

Munster School, Munster, North Dakota

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Munster School, Munster, North Dakota

Munster School, Munster, 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.
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.
Forbes School

Forbes School

We visited Forbes in May of 2011 and got pictures of the town, plus this gallery of the former school.  There were so many great things to photograph, we decided to put the photos of the interior of the school into this separate gallery.

A green moss carpet covers most of the floor in this damp former classroom.

forbes school 6

Saplings have sprouted up through the floor, stretching to reach the sun through a hole in the roof.

That’s the former gymnasium in the background.

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.
Wellsburg, ND

Wellsburg, ND

Wellsburg is a small town in Wells County, both of which are named for the Edward P. Wells, a former legislator.  It was founded in 1910 and harbored a population of 150 in 1920.  According to Douglas Wick’s North Dakota Place Names, the population had dropped to 14 by by 1981.  Scenic Dakotas has a Wellsburg gallery too.

These photos were contributed by R. David Adams.  His captions are included below.

Only a few abandoned houses, most were lived in however many lots with no house left at all.

School now a house with a garage. nice!

Classic early turn of the century building in great shape due in part to occasional painting and fixing and TIN! I would have so much fun with this building were it mine!

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.
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.
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.
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.