Ghost Town Temple, North Dakota

Temple, North Dakota

Temple was founded in Williams County along the Great Northern Railroad line. The post office was moved here from Haarstad in 1908. The significance of the town name is unknown.

Temple, North Dakota

Temple’s peak population was about 90 people in 1920, but it had dwindled to 25 in 1960. It is presently uninhabited. Like many of the ghost towns in North Dakota, Temple saw a steady decline beginning around the depression and continuing until its Post Office closed in 1965. The harsh winters and and the here-and-gone fortunes of the railroad were just too difficult for many settlers.

Temple, North Dakota

In the years since these photos were taken by long time contributor Mark Johnson, the school has been moved from the townsite and repurposed as an addition to a home, and the site itself has occasionally been home to oil workers in RVs and Campers. Nichole Simpson got some photographs of the school just before it was moved.

Photos by Mark Johnson

34 Comments on “Ghost Town Temple, North Dakota

  1. I was in Temple, ND in August of 2009. Since that time, the school, pictured above, is no longer there. The foundation and basement is still there obviously, but the main structure has been moved. I would be interested to know who owns it and where it has gone.

    • I hope they moved it as versus demolishing it for the price of the wood. There’s a gymnasium in Fillmore that’s for sale on the web right now. The owner’s selling it for three grand, to demolish it and take it away for the wood. Sad.

    • The school was moved, it is being added on to a house and going to be lived in.

    • did you ever get in contact with Ron Gravegaard? He owns some of the land.

    • HI. I am from Tioga, ND, which is very close to Temple. I do know who owns the old school now. His name is Clint Hartsoch. He moved to Hway 1804 and made it into his house now. If you would like to know more about Temple. I will answer them as best as I can. If I dont know I will ask people from around here.

  2. The school was moved to be used as an addition to an existing home located south of Hwy 1804.

    • Thanks, that would be an interesting addition. I wonder if it was cheaper to move this building versus just building an addition on site?

    • An addition to a home? That is strange. Any idea if they are maintaining the historical integrity of the structure? IE, keeping the window openings, roof line, etc. And south of Hwy 1804 means they moved it at least 14 miles south. That would have been interesting to see. This home will be interesting to see.

      • Honestly the inside of the building was trashed when they bought it. It was the “cool thing” to go in, smash windows and play the piano that was in the smaller room. They also blew holes in the floor with fireworks. Teenagers ruined most of the coolest things about the building. I’m sure its nothing like it really used to be.

  3. My Great Grandma was born and raised in Temple, ND. We still have the land and there are still some buildings standing on the land. One of my friends who grew up across the creek from my great grandma still has land and buildings there also.

    • Can you please tell me if your interested in selling the land where the church is or across the road where the old house is falling down. Thank you for your time.

      • The land was donated to the church and I do not know who owns it and the other land is in estated….land is no longer cheap around here since the boom started

  4. A couple years back I took the clothing company Free People out and about in our area for a photoshot for a Spring catalog. The pictures were taken on our farm, Vances, Temple, and Epping. The pictures were amazing to say the least, the color was mad. I fell in love with the old church and go back and update my picture of it. “The photographers had taken an ausume pic of Suzzane in front of the school before it was moved. check out Free

  5. Not only is the school gone, but so is the old Chevrolet. In addition, the old building near it has been burned down. I’ll try to submit some update photos soon.

    • KStubbs i’d like too talk too you about the temple area or others of you…….phone is 1-715-474-2260 Thanks DCH.

      • Where have all the old Country schools gone? Dry Fork Township school also disappeared!!

        • Wolla School still stands, southwest of Tioga. What wonderful memories I have of going to that school. Yes, it is boarded up, but its still there. 🙂 I went there from the first through the fifth grade when they closed down country schools. My dad also went to school there, Leslie Davidson. I still get wonderful Christmas letters from my first grade teacher at Wolla School, Evelyn (Benson) Curtiss from Tioga.

    • I used to LOVE to stop in Temple, coming from south of Tioga, and going to visit family in Wildrose. On the way home we’d stop there for a WONDERFUL ice cream cone!! That was such a treat. Mom and I each had a nickel scoop cone, and dad had two scoops for a dime. Would love to see a picture of Main Street if someone has one to post. It is sometimes fun to walk down memory lane.

  6. was just there this wkend….wondered what happened to the building..did see the top of the school stilll lying in the field with some old desk..took some great pics 🙂

  7. I travel through Temple from time to time in my work in the oil fields. I have taken many photos of the old church, my new phone has a black and white feature that I have been having fun with, it is a shame that only the bell tower of the school is all that is left. I’m from California and hunt ghost towns and old mines there. Thank you for your site.

    • Hi Kris Larsen: Can you get ahold of me their are some questions i have of the Temple area.What do you do at the oil fields?any body Living in Temple?Are you M or F i was thinking about comming out their i have a farm here in wi and a BS in General Agriculture Broad Area …..i’am extremly great in soil sciences/geology,and Nuclear Waste Issues/storage and reprosesing. It’s the housing issue….but i love Camping LOL i know how to survive and do things from scratch and jerry rig things to work.Manipulate things to hell and back w

  8. What a great website.

    I’m trying to get in touch with people who have commented on this post that own land in Temple. You can reach me at sean @

    Thank you in advance.


  9. Pingback: Ten Lost North Dakota Places :

  10. It is sad to see these old buildings from Temple gone. Unfortunately, people traveling through or people who are bored, destroy the buildings and force the landowners to tear down the remains. We appreciate looking at these pictures and the memories that we have growing up there.

  11. Pingback: More of Temple, ND :

  12. My mother, Mary Ellen Ringey Rowe, grew up in Temple. She was in the only class that graduated from the Temple school. There were four in her class. That was about 1930.

    My father, Harold Rowe, taught in the Temple school at one time. My family lived in Temple and on a farm near Temple before moving to Stanley in1941 when I was four year’s old.

    My grandfather, Albert Ringey, was the rural mail carrier in the Temple area for many years.

    • My great grandma was born and raised in Temple and went to school there for elementary but to Tioga for highschool…She was a Samdahl 🙂

  13. My grandfather homesteader 2 miles south of temple in 1904 we used to go to temple in our model A ford for pop and ice cream when we were kids Hugo Nelson was the postmaster in the late 40s and 50s ice cream pop and a haircut
    Daryle Holte

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