Heaton, ND

Heaton was founded in 1899 as a Northern Pacific Railroad town, named for George Heaton, the manager of land sales for the railroad. Population figures include 400 in 1930, 62 in 1960, and approximately 5 when these photos were taken in 2004.

Heaton, about twenty miles west of Carrington, North Dakota, is an interesting town. We visited in May of 2004 and there were three or four houses which looked occupied, but a ton of vacant homes. The whole time we were taking these photos, we could hear kids playing nearby.

Site visitor Brandon Miller, who grew up one mile north of Heaton, wrote to tell us it was his Grandfather’s opinion the tornado which ravaged Heaton in 1907 was a big reason for the town’s eventual decline.

In it’s heyday, Heaton played host to a post office, a lumber yard, gas station, bank, hardware store, two hotels, and three churches.

 In 2012, we spoke with the final resident of Heaton.

Wanna see what we found when we returned to Heaton six years after this visit? Check it out here.

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

7 Comments on “Heaton, ND

  1. I didn’t realize that so many towns in ND had gravel streets. My hometown of Niagara has gravel streets, and my dad always commented that Mountain, while the same size, had paved streets. Street jealousy, I guess.

  2. Pingback: Heaton – Six Years Later « GhostsofNorthDakota.com

  3. Well this is interesting to me, because my paternal grandmother’s surname happens to be Heaton, & Ive been searchin all over for possible relatives, but never thought to look in North Dakota! Seeing a town with that name gives me hope, even if it is almost a ghost town now! Anybody from that area ever heard of Sula Heaton?? That would be my Grammas Mama…I think…. She might have been Cherokee…

  4. Interesting to read about Heaton. My grandfather was a German immigrant who lived there. He was a farmers, pool shark and poker player. So at one tome there had to be a bar there. My dad said he mother was a French prostitute who ended up living with my granddad for a a few years. My dad left Heaton during the depression to ride the rails looking for work as a teen. I was back there several times in the early 1970s and it was near a ghost town then. The old farm house was grown over and in disrepair.

  5. I enjoyed your site – I went to the wonderful old school in Heaton from 8th grade until graduating High School in 1955. My classmates were Ruth Erfle and Merlin Heinitz. I have such fond memories of the unforgettable, loveable school janitor Mr. Alfred “Torby” Torbenson.
    I believe the old upright piano in the first photo was in the Sam Loeppke home – I visited there with the Loeppke girls many times, and learned my first chords on that piano.
    We attended the Lutheran Church in Heaton.
    Many fond memories of Heaton, too many to post here!

  6. I enjoyed your site – I went to the wonderful old school in Heaton from 8th grade until graduating High School in 1955. My classmates were Ruth Erfle and Merlin Heinitz. I have such fond memories of the unforgettable, loveable school janitor Mr. Alfred “Torby” Torbenson.
    I believe the old upright piano in the first photo was in the Sam Loeppke home – I visited there with the Loeppke girls many times, and learned my first chords on that piano.
    We attended the Lutheran Church in Heaton.
    Many fond memories of Heaton, too many to post here!

  7. I bought 3 houses from Myrtle Hawks of Heaton back in. 07…lived there with my wife and 5 children thru 2008…worked in Carrington for Kelly Hagel….i miss heaton so much….it was so surreal

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