School’s Out in Hamlet, North Dakota

Hamlet, North Dakota

John Piepkorn contributed these photos of the Hamlet School, in Williams County, in 2010 with the following comments:

I have attached some images of the Hamlet, ND school. The “town” has approximately 5 houses that look to be inhabited and about 1/4 mile down a dirt road from the houses, the school sits decaying. There is no roof and much of the brick wall in the back is gone. The inside was inhabited by a huge swarm of yellowjackets, so I had to settle for pics through the window.

Hamlet, North Dakota

Hamlet is an unincorporated community in Williams County with about a handful of residents, about halfway between McGregor and Wildrose, North Dakota. This former public school stands just north of town.

Hamlet, North Dakota

Hamlet, North Dakota

Hamlet, North Dakota

Photos by John Piepkorn. Original content copyright © 2015 Sonic Tremor Media

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14 Comments on “School’s Out in Hamlet, North Dakota

  1. I enjoyed viewing your pictures!!! More importantly, these buildings are speaking to YOU to remind a younger generation of how difficult your forefathers worked to build a house in the middle of an open field just to have a place to live. Carry on that same spirit of determination each and every day in your lives–its what your forefathers would have wanted.

  2. Since I seen your site a few years ago, I have been taking pictures of abandoned schools,houses and ect. Soon they will be gone. I was happy to see the Temple School on there, that is where I went to 1st grade. Great job you are doing.

    • I am part of a hydraulic fracturing crew that worked an oil lease a stones throw from this school. We were there for over a month, rotating between day and night shift. Our work site lights would illuminate the school at night. It was like a ghost hovering in the background. Creepy but cool.

  3. My father grew up in Hamlet and actually went to this school. I have spent many summers in Hamlet. This school has always fascinated me. I have wandered the halls before it became to dangerous to be in. Every time I go to Hamlet I enjoy stopping by the school. I think it has the most beautiful brick. It is a shame that it has become so run down. I was very excited to see this piece of my past on your web site. There are many interesting abandoned homes around Hamlet. I just love to drive around and look at old farmsteads.

    • I have many happy memories of being a “country girl” and riding my horse to Hamlet to meet my friend, JoDee, with whom I spent many hours on horseback riding in “town” and exploring nearby abandoned farmsteads. This was a time, not that long ago (35 yrs) before cell phones and the dangers of abduction, when two young girls were able to go galloping across the prarie on horseback enjoying the lazy, carefree days of summer, often without seeing a single soul. Hamlet is a part of who I am!

    • Were your parents Duane and Dorothy? Where are they now?

  4. Wow! My little home town of McGregor, ND has made the list of ghost town’s. I grew up in McGregor 1940’s-early 60’s. Great little community to grow up in and I am saddened to see how much it has deteriorated. I guess I am part of the problem; along with my siblings and friends, we moved away. Looking forward to going back for 100th anniversary this August. Thank you so much for the memories!

    • You got to go were the work is, what are you gona do. I wish I could live ina twon like this and make a living but I was forced to move away from friends and family. I do not like the people in the big town I live in now. The people I work with !!!!!

  5. I was just in Hamlet, passing through on a little road trip. The school and 5 acres is for sale, $35k. And the oil lease really is just spitting distance.

  6. My friend told me that Hamlet was formerly called Hankey, his family name, after his ancestors.

  7. What some people used to say…”Every family has 10 kids, but the population still goes down”. Might be an exaggeration but unfortunately a little too close to the truth.

  8. What an accomplishment for so little a community to build such a grand school. I hope someone saves the “Hamlet School” stone. When was the school built? Was there a frame school house on the site before the brick school?

  9. Did the Hamlet High School have a mascot name for their basketball team? My dad was the first boy to graduate from there in I believe 1930.

  10. Will this message become part of this site about Hamlet? I hope so. My father was “the teacher” at the school in the 1940-1941 school year. I was 2 1/2 years old. He, my mother, and I lived in an apartment in the school. Every morning he had to go down through the gym and stoke the furnace for building heat. One day (Jan 5 1940) mom sent me down to him where they had placed a toy car for my birthday! He was Wilbur Keeling, Mom was Jennie Keeling. Eventually, after he got his doctorate and worked in other town and in Minn. and Wisc., we settled in Valley City where he became head of the social science department. I am retired minister and psychologist, and live in Connecticut.

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