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 in 1897.
We received an email from Norway that reads as follows:
Sending you some pictures of Blabon as it was about 1900. My great grandparents did own/run a grocery store/pool saloon. The moved back to Norway about 1915 i think. Nice site you’ve got here 🙂
Greetings from Norway!
CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
17 thoughts on “Blabon, ND”
The trailer home was my great uncle’s “summer home”, he died a couple of years ago. Last time I was in Blabon was in 1995 when we had a family reunion.
My father worked in Blabon as manager of the grain elevator until it burned down in 1973. He went back for several years during the spring and summer to garden after his retirement. Some joked that he was the mayor of Blabon. Sadly dad passed on Jan. 17th 2010. Thanks for the memories.
My Grandpartents farm (the Alfred Simonson farm) was located about one mile north of Blabon and we would pass by Blabon many times on our way to visit them. The house pictured above was once the home of my Great Aunt Tina Munson. I remember as a child we would drive into Blabon to visit her. If I remember correctly, in the early/mid 1960’s, there was not very many buildings left. At that time there where many empty lots with the foundations of buildings still remaining. In the early 1990’s, we did stop into Blabon to see the house. The house seemed to be in somewhat “fair” condition, and it looked as if someone had been living there within the past 5 years or so, but had left in a hurry.
I was always fascinated with Blabon, but didn’t know much of it’s history.
Hallo Dwigt: My grandparents lived in Blabon some years, but they returned to Norway right after the death of their son Selmer Monson in 1919. You see Alfred Simonsens mother is the sister of my grandfather,Ole Bertin Monson (Aarland). And Tina was marreid to his brother Karl(Carl). The old photos are sent from my nephew Øyvind. There are severeal old photos from Blabon at Stolmen, Norway. So we are related. When I was a child my grandparenst used to tell us stories from the time they where living back in the US. My grandfather Ole (you can see him at the picture beihind the counter with white shirt on) was running some kind of cafe.
I love reading this history! Thank you for sharing!
Hello Inger, so glad to see your reply, and from a relative no less! I am just sorry that I have not checked this website for some time, I would have replied ealier I have several relatives in Bergen and Stolmen, Norway and visited them in 2007.
I understand that in about 1919 my Grandfather and his family traveled to Bergen and Stolmen, Norway, perhaps they returned with your Gandparents.
Thank you for the old photos of Blabon, it is always interesting to see some photos of how Blabon looked.
Based on family information that I have, my aunt, Jennie Heglie, taught school in Blabon in 1926-1927.
Hello, I spoke with my mother who grew up in that area, she looked at the photos and thinks that with the photo taken in the “pool hall”, the person on the far right, front row, in the white shirt and hat, is Carl Munson.
I was a baby in Blabon in 1953, so this summer I went back to try to find it. I had wonderful visits with folks in the restaurant in Hope, and saw Blabon things in the museum there. In Blabon is one living resident, about 28 yrs old. In the cemetery I did get a chance to see some of the ghosts, and they were wonderful, and kind, and they said they didn’t stay there, but only came to talk to me because I came there to honor them.
When I was a lad in the 1950’s my uncle, Kenneth Roufs was pastor of the Luthern Church pictured in the photos. At the time the train was still running daily,the telegraph alive with news, grain elevators that could be seen all the way to Hope, many ld buildings including the old jail, and there was still a hardware store (Jacobsen’s perhaps).
My cousins attended the school.The most memorable thing to me looking back was the sturdy quality of the school (very typical in rural NoDak), the heavy merry-go-round we used to play on, the beautiful church, the wonderful scandanavian people, the high snow drifts, and the wind that never quit blowing.
Most everything was gone when I last passed through about 20 years ago except the parsonage and Ed Peterson’s old farm.
My regret is that every time a place like Blabon dies, so does a piece of the heart of America.
Bob Roufs, Jr
Which one is the parsonage? I would have lived there…is it the house in the picture above?
I believe it is the third picture from the top, just before the church. I have a few old photos around somewhere that I hope to find and submit.
My name is Victoria Blabon. From what I understand the three Blabon brothers that founded the town when the railroad used to run through it are my distant uncles. Never been there, but before I die, I sure would love to see it. In response to Kathy Dobsons comments about her Dad being the major of Blabon, I say “good for him”! Who cares if it only populated by a handful of people. How often do you get to be a major? Being a Blabon, I have always felt that maybe a Blabon should go back and run for major. If I was to bring at least seven friends and my two sisters Id be a shoe in. Hope poeple keep visiitng. How else do you keep a ghost town alive?
If you look at an aeronautical chart, you will see that they have a town named Bladon, right where
Blabon should be.
Sadly, my father Dwight W. Johnson passed away on September 9, 2017 at age 97. Born and raised in Blabon. I have many memories of visiting grandpa (Gilbert) Johnson in Blabon in the early 60’s. The church, the merry-go-round, and the birds my grandfather raised.
The dilapidated house with two windows on the end was my childhood hope – it didn’t look like the picture back then. The house with the dormer was Carl and Tina Monson’s home and was always well kept. Next door to them was Gilbert and Annie Johnson’s home, also well kept. They shared a driveway with well trimmed hedge on both sides of the driveway. I remember Pastor Benson and was confirmed by Pastor Kenneth Roufs.
At one time, the school also had a high school on the second floor. There was also an apartment(s?) on the second floor that served as living quarters for the teachers. The two main classrooms on the first floor served the lower grades (1-4) and the upper grades (5-7). As the population dwindled, Blabon was redistricted to become part of the Hope Public School system. The town died, in part, because there was no suitable drinking water, and so most had to haul water – a popular source of drinking water was the LeRoy Richards farm, located about 3/4 of a mile east of Blabon.