Browsed by
Tag: then and now

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

Underwater Ghost Towns of the North Dakota Missouri River

Underwater Ghost Towns of the North Dakota Missouri River

The construction of Garrison Dam flooded the Missouri River Valley and created Lake Sakakawea, something we’ve covered before in posts about Sanish and Four Bears Bridge.  We’ve photographed both a church and a home that once stood in Elbowoods — structures that were moved to higher ground to avoid the flood.

Here’s a graphic, based on a Google Earth satellite shot, showing the Missouri River Valley pre and post Garrison Dam, and the former towns which had to be evacuated. There are several more not shown on this map, including Expansion, Mannhaven, and Red Butte, which are all gone, or 99.9% gone anyway.  There are still a few things to photograph though, and we hope to surprise you with some stuff in the near-future.  Until then, please enjoy and share the graphic.

Underwater Ghost Towns

Order Ghosts of North Dakota Books

Oil Boom Reviving Tiny Prairie Towns

Oil Boom Reviving Tiny Prairie Towns

The AP did a story in April about the oil boom and Ghosts of North Dakota supplied one of the photos of Appam, North Dakota. Watch the video from the AP’s Martha Irvine.

Order Books

Maltese Cross Cabin: Theodore Roosevelt’s Mobile Home

Maltese Cross Cabin: Theodore Roosevelt’s Mobile Home

On Theodore Roosevelt’s first trip to North Dakota in 1883, before he made Elkhorn Ranch his home, he stayed in a modest frontier cabin about seven miles south of Medora at Chimney Butte.  It was still the Dakota Territory then and the future President was bolstering his rawhide credentials.  The National Park Service has a nice page on the cabin here.

Maltese Cross Cabin, Chimney Butte

Above, the Maltese Cross Cabin at Chimney Butte, circa 1904, photo by Jospeh Kitchin. The cabin originally had a steep, pitched roof but according to a report by the Historic American Buildings Survey, it underwent structural changes in 1884 or ’85 and again in 1897 or ’98. Other modifications to the cabin are also visible in the photo above.  You can make out the timbers that were used to patch the doorway in the wall. Compare to the photo at the bottom… the door has been restored today.

Maltese Cross Cabin, World's Fair 1904

During Theodore Roosevelt’s Presidency, the Maltese Cross Cabin began touring the country. It is shown here at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis and it was also shown at the Portland World’s Fair the following year.

Maltese Cross Cabin, World's Fair 1904

After traveling the country, the Maltese Cross Cabin came back to North Dakota and resided at what was then the State Fairgrounds in Fargo for a couple years before moving to the grounds of the State Capitol in Bismarck.

Maltese Cross Cabin, Bismarck

Above, the Maltese Cross Cabin when it was at the State Capitol in Bismarck, approximately 1909 to 1959.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Today, the Maltese Cross Cabin stands behind the visitor center at the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora and the original pitched roof has been recreated. Admission is free, there are guided tours and a very talented Theodore Roosevelt impersonator.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Original Content Copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

 

Watch Verendrye Age Forty Years

Watch Verendrye Age Forty Years

Yesterday, Steve Lee sent us some photos of flooding in Verendrye, North Dakota. They were taken
by his father during the Mouse (Souris) River floods “sometime in the mid to late forties.”

My father, Howard Lee, took these photos.  He grew up on his grandfather’s (Herbrand Lee) farm, 2 or 3 miles northeast of Verendrye. Herbrand Lee homesteaded in the area.

Today, Steve sent us another photo with the following note:

I just noticed, on Google Earth, that this structure is no longer standing. With that in mind, here is a photo of that storefront from about 1983. It was taken with a 4×5 Crown Graphic. I was trying to emulate the same angle as my father’s photo.

With that we have two images of the same place, separated by a generation, captured by a father and son with deep family roots in North Dakota.  We put the two photos together in an animation.  Watch as the General Store in Verendrye ages nearly 40 years:

Verendrye, North Dakota

Photos by Howard and Steven Lee
Animation by Troy Larson
Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

Verendrye in Black & White

Verendrye in Black & White

We’ve long hoped to run across some photos of the town that was once Verendrye, North Dakota. We drove by the crumbling facade of the school a few years ago and snapped a photo, but we hadn’t yet seen any photos of Verendrye when it still looked like a town.  So, we were thrilled when we got an email from Kathy Haynes with some photos and a drawing attached.  She was very informative, and her comments and captions are shown below.

Verendrye, North Dakota

My Aunt, Uncle, and 5 cousins lived in the white house that can be seen beyond the kids in the back of the school photo [below]. The last time I was there that house was just a foundation. I think the two photos of the school were taken about the year 1960 or 1961. I have to check with my brother to be sure on that. He would know since he graduated from the 8th grade there in, I believe, the last year it was open. I went there in the 2nd & 3rd grades until the school closed and we were bused to school in Velva.

Verendrye, North Dakota

falsen-school

Only the facade remains standing today. Photo by Terry Hinnenkamp.

Verendrye, North Dakota

This is an ink drawing composite and I’m sorry that it’s not very clear. I did the ink drawing several years ago using all the enclosed cafe photos as well as memory.

Verendrye, North Dakota

I lived in the restaurant building in Verendrye with my parents and 4 siblings in the 1960’s. My mother ran the restaurant for a couple of years but when the customers dwindled she closed it.

Most of the photos are of the restaurant/bar/garage/home that once stood near the railroad track. The side door faced the tracks & the front with gas pump faced the road that crossed the tracks. The restaurant was on the right-front, a bar inside to the left and on the far left a small mechanic’s garage with a grease pit. The bar and mechanic’s garage was not used when we lived there. We lived in the back part of the building that faced the tracks on the right side of the photo [below]… that separate garage on the right side of the photo was our car garage.

Anyway, down the street and to the left of the front (gas pump) of the restaurant was a hotel that was later moved to the Walhowe farm. Fred Walhowe’s sister and brother-in-law ran the hotel. (I can’t remember their names.)

Verendrye, North Dakota

These photos of the cafe were taken in 1966.

Verendrye, North Dakota

If a person where standing on the road at the railroad crossing (looking towards the school) you would see the cafe building in front of you & on your right. You would have the elevators behind you and on your left. Also the building that can be seen behind our garage [on the right, in the photo above] was a home also used for a US Post Office. The last time I drove through Verendrye that buiding was still there.

Verendrye, North Dakota

Verendrye, North Dakota

This last photo is of “the cabin” as we have always called it just a few years ago. There was a series of, I think 9, stories printed in the Minot Daily News, starting on June 10, 1967 written about 14 log cabins in a 15 mile area of the Mouse River near Verendrye. The cabin that we lived in (we added a kitchen & bedroom as well as putting in electricity) was log cabin #7 in this series. — Kathy Haynes

Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

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.

Blabon, 1916

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.

Order Book Two

Blabon, North Dakota

In 2013, the two homes above are the only two remaining structures shown in the postcard above.  The church, the grain elevator, and all the other structures (with perhaps the exception of the homes on the extreme left edge of the postcard) are gone today.

Photos by Terry Hinnenkamp except where noted.
Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

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 time when this was still the Dakota Territory. The Northern Pacific stopped at the depot just out of frame on the right and thus, this city block became the first stop in Dakota for the majority of travelers from the east and was frequently the first time many had experienced what they perceived as “the west.”

Moody’s department store would have been just out of frame on the left of the scene below, and there are other interesting landmarks in this postcard, too. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the postcard.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

I found this card when I was nosing around in a box at an antique store. It shows Front Street in Fargo, a street known today as Main Avenue, circa 1909, with Broadway intersecting in the foreground. As you can see, the card was in pretty bad shape, so I started by doing a quick restoration.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

That’s not perfect, but a little better.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

Dr. Mallarian had his offices right on the corner in the same building as the bank, which was founded in 1878 as the First National Bank. However by the time of this photo in 1909, the bank had changed hands and was known as Commercial Bank of Fargo.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

Signs for Emery & Johnson Cycle Company and H.F. Emery Hardware.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

I count three drug stores on this block, a dentist, an insurance agency, and whatever H.G. Edwards sold.

Front Street Fargo, 1909

Front Street Fargo, 1909

Two interesting stories here… on the left, the old DeLendrecie’s department store.  At the time this photo was taken, it was only two stories (see photo top) but it would later have three more stories added.  DeLendrecies moved from this building to the mall in 1973 and was purchased and turned into a Herberger’s store in 1998, ending a one hundred year run.  The downtown DeLendrecies building has been redeveloped into the Block 6 apartment complex.

On the right, the Fargo Waldorf, a hotel that was ingeniously located directly across the street from the Northern Pacific depot.  Like the DeLendrecies building, the Waldorf is yet to reach its full stature at the time of this photo — it’s four stories, but a fifth would be added later.  The hotel was destroyed by fire on December 13th, 1951.

Main Avenue, Fargo

Here’s the block as it looks today, occupied by trendy stores, coffee houses and a pizza joint.  The street is considerably wider, and the former DeLendrecies building at the end of the block is now five stories.  All things considered, it’s a small miracle that almost all of these buildings still stand.

Main Avenue, Fargo

If you have suggestions on historically significant North Dakota places that we should feature here, please feel free to contact us.

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC