The Ghost Town Known as Straubville, North Dakota

Straubville, North Dakota

About 60 miles southwest of Wahpeton, in Sargent County, stands the ghost town known as Straubville, North Dakota. It was named for the first settler, Joseph W. Straub, who donated ten acres for the town site, in 1883. A Great Northern Railroad station was founded in 1886, and population peaked at 40.

This was a place we visited early in our Ghosts of North Dakota adventures, in 2005, and it was one of the first places we encountered where it seemed obvious that if we had arrived ten or fifteen years earlier, there would have been much more to photograph. 

Straubville, North Dakota

When we visited in 2005, Straubville was already a ghost town with zero remaining residents, although one building appeared to have been recently boarded up. Cell service was not great, either.

Straubville, North Dakota

Straubville is a short distance from the major highways, quite secluded, and the roads leading to it are unpaved and would likely be treacherous in bad weather. Although Straubville was once a Great Northern Railroad station, we didn’t see any tracks, so either they were taken out, or we just missed them.  See more of Straubville here.

Straubville, North Dakota

Straubville, North Dakota

Straubville, North Dakota

It struggled to rain all day… but only managed a cold mist.

Straubville, North Dakota

Straubville, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2017 Sonic Tremor Media


15 Comments on “The Ghost Town Known as Straubville, North Dakota

  1. Most years prior to 2000 the county road to Straubville was in good shape. The rails on that line were gone before the mid 50’s except in the crossings on the paved roads through Sargent and Dickey countys – I remember going across them for quite a few years. the line went from Rutland through Ellendale with towns every four to ten miles apart, most of which you can’t find unless you know where they were

    • We used to go through Straubville quite often, years ago, when we were in that area Pheasant hunting. I thought I could remember railroad tracks then. This would have been mostly in the 50’s and 60’s. From memory, it seems like the road we came into town on had a curve.

  2. I am wondering how long ago these pictures were taken? Because a friend and were there summer 2010 and a bunch of trees had been uprooted and the tree infront of the house was uprooted and landed on the house

    • Anita, thanks for the update! We took these photos back in 2005. We’ll try to get back there for an update sometime soon!

  3. I remember visiting Straubville in the late 1960s. Many of the homes and buildings were standing in good shape including the one room train station with a gray wooden sign. My grandfather homesteaded there and ran the general store, post office, and grain elevator until a TB epidemic in the 1920’s.

    • Comment to John: The interiors from the old post office are now in the hands of mine, including the post sorting box w/ names. These interiors were handed over to me as we were establishing the Western Norway Emigration Center in honor and memory of Norwagian emigrants who left for America as pioneeres.

      The message I got from my relative, Ted Kjeseth of Minneapolis – grown up in Kloten, North Dakota- was approximate as follow: “A post master took care of parts of the interior, as he had to close down the office. Some day, he told his relatives, someone will show their interest in these items. Someone related to him, bringing it with her to her new location, as a farmer’s wife (?) near Mc Clusky, North Dakota, where it later had laid stored in a barn. Ted Kjeseth led me there, and when constructing the Western Norway Emigration Center in Norway, he and others of our cooperators had it handed over and transported for further forwarding in one of our containers to Sletta, Norway, where the old teacher’s home at Brampton, Marboe old one -room shoolhouse (ex Forman), Dr. Serkland’s old medical office from Rothsay (MN), Elizabeth Town Hall and Jail from Eizabeth (MN), Andreas Seem’s pioneer home from Underwood (MN)…..etc.already were reestablished.

      A couple of months ago, a visitor from Brampton, Dick Johnson, visited our museum and recognized the names written at the sorting box, and he identified the post office’s location to have been just at Straubville, Sargent County. I would be happy to hear from some out there who could give more details/information. Are there still any remains of a general store or the post office out there??? Or from the rural mail carrier’s home???
      My name is: Asbjørn Ystebø
      Address: Holtavegen 22A,
      5239 Radal – Norway

      E-mail address:
      Tel: 011-47-95913181

  4. Hello Troy, My name is Valerie I am Dale Shelton’s daughter, Thank You for sharing these pictures. What is your connection to Straubville? FACEBOOK Valerie Youngman.

  5. Valerie youngman, I believe we are related. I lived south and east of Strauville until I was to enter 7th grade. We lived about 2miles east of a Sheldon. My father bought a farm in Minnesota in 1955 which is when we moved on September 29th of that year. My great aunt was the station master. We were at the general store weekly before our move. Residents along our stretch of road were Grey, our cousins, Ridder, and a couple of more families whose names have escaped me. I visited the area every few years as I still have cousins in Oaks, Cogswell and Forman.Facebook Carolyn Wolf.

    • Hello Carolyn , my name is Valerie Shelton Youngman, I was looking for something else and ran across this. I didn’t get this when you first wrote it. How are we related? I will check FB and see if I can find you. My dad is Dale Shelton, he will be 91 on Nov 9th. Clarence and Margaret were his parents.
      We have lived in Hecla SD since 1958
      Look forward to hearing from you.
      Valerie Youngman

  6. The last photo on this page of straubville or strawville belongs to my aunt Phillis Thompson who was married to George Thompson

  7. Was down by Straubville yesterday and paid a visit — just one white house and two outbuildings left. An enormous cottonwood tree was downed onto the front left of the house. Not much left.

    • Were the buildings on main street still there and standing? I will be visiting here in a few months.

  8. Hi, I love your site, but I would like you to have a small map showing where these sites are located. I grew up in Grand Forks and left after 12 years and am not sure where most of these towns are. Also, who owns the land once a city becomes abandoned? Thanks alot

  9. Hi Valerie. My name is Lee Brumm. My great grandmother was Maude Shelton Clarences sister. They also lived in the area my grandma Doris and her brother and sister grew up in the area. I remember her taking me out there when I was young and showing me around. I remember meeting your dad once or twice and most of the other Shelton’s.

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