The Haunting End of Eastedge, North Dakota
Eastedge, ND is in south-central North Dakota, in southern Barnes County, about twenty miles south of Valley City. The railroad construction camp that once existed here was named “Eastedge,” a name descriptive of its location on the east edge of the Sheyenne River Valley. Eastedge is near two other places we’ve photographed — Kathryn and Nome.
It was May 1st when we visited Eastedge, a date that normally prompts visions of spring sunshine and flowers, but on this day, the weather was unusually cold and misty with a blustery wind that chilled us to our bones. We were unsure of what we would find when we arrived at Eastedge.
Some might argue the weather was an appropriate harbinger of what was to come — just as we arrived, snowflakes started to fall, and we shortly discovered Eastedge is a true ghost town with only two homes standing on the former townsite, and an unnerving backstory.
After we posted these photos, Shawn Bjerke recently wrote us to say:
My Grandmother walked to school in the one room school house at Eastedge. I also remember her telling me that the last resident of Eastedge committed suicide in the late 60’s or early 70’s! Maybe its a true ghost town!
The small white home on the Eastedge townsite was moved here from another location, and several people have told us that the person who moved the house to the site was killed in the process when he touched an overhead powerline. This home is going through a slow-motion collapse and was in considerably worse shape when we returned six years later.
The remains of the old concrete railroad loading dock, below, are the only other remains on-site.
The tracks remain, but they’ve been out of service for many years.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC