Erie, ND

Erie is a small near-ghost town in Cass County, about 45 minutes northwest of Fargo.  We visited Erie during a trip to nearby Brewer Lake, also known as Erie Dam State Recreation area due to the small earthen dam which created Brewer Lake.  It’s a very nice, out-of-the-way campground that gets little traffic if you’re looking for a nice little spot to relax.

This is the now-vacant Erie State Bank building.

This is the earthen dam at Brewer Lake, about three minutes drive from Erie.

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

26 Comments on “Erie, ND

  1. That is an awesome bank! It looks cared for – is it used for anything?

  2. I am hoping to see more of Erie ND….. I live close to Erie PA….

    • I live in Erie, ND. I actually remember the pictures being taken of the bank and the old gas station. I wish I knew what it was for, as I could have shown the old school remains, the old school stuff, the old buildings, ect. 2 of the original houses in Erie, as I live in 1, also the last remaining church here. The Erie cemetery, the Erie Park, Erie post office/community center/VFW hall. There is a lot of old stuff on display in the community center. This is such a GREAT place to live, everyone here is amazing, and there is so much history that gets erased forever every year. There were 3 churches at one time in Erie. There was a bar, a school, a store, more houses, but a lot of them got torn down. The buildings get run down and we wanted to beautify the town. There is ALOT more to see if you know where to look.

  3. you have any photos of the homes in Erie? I recently acquired a stained glass window from the McGovern home there.

    • Deanne, I live in the house next to where the McGovern home stood and have come across at least one photo of that house during my online research. Let me know if you’re interested!

  4. Erie is my hometown…a lot of good, innocent memories float around the emty streets. I’m sure in fifty years it’ll just be a wheat field but, one time, we were there!

  5. The bank has been maintained as a museum of sorts. I believe it is opened for viewing on Memorial Day when there is usually a gathering of residents and former residents of Erie. Some old photos are available. I haven’t been back for Memorial Day for a number of years…correct me if it has changed. The history of the people and the land is amazing as the story of any small town. I grew up in Erie for the first thirteen years of my life and would love to move back. I stopped through recently and caught large mouth bass and a yellow perch. Great place to camp at the lake. On the south side, arrowheads have been found as it was a campsite for Sioux tribes. I have tried looking into some interest from the Heritage Society but never received a reply.

    • I’m a son of Joe and I found an old belt buckle across from my house!

  6. I grew up on a farm just north of Erie. Was around when the dam was built. Used the businesses in Erie a lot as farmers.
    I believe the McGovern family is related to me on my moms side. Might be able to track down some pics of Erie in the 60s/70s or earlier.
    Lots of memories growing up.

    • Ken photos would be really nice, we’ve had a difficult time tracking any down.

  7. I moved to Erie in 1994, raised my 4 children there!! Great place to live, and raise children! Out of the hustle and bustle, but nothing to far away. My house is now up for sale, 4 BR 2 bath and much more!

    • Hello Marie,
      Is your house on Nelson Street? I have been looking at this house and talking to a realtor. I have fallen in love with the house and what I have seen in town. I truly love the information and history that I have read on this page. I have 3 kids and I personally feel this town would be a great place to raise my family.

      • My grandparents owned the house on Nelson Street when I was growing up – it was a labor of love. They put a ton of work into it, and I would spend my summers there as kid/pre-teen. I grew up in Minneapolis so getting a taste of the country life was the coolest, best memories I have. The house use to be in much better shape, it was beautiful, a big porch swing, beautiful woodwork. It hasn’t been kept up, and looks pretty terrible now, which is a shame. But, it could be restored to it’s original beauty with the right owner. It has a cool history as well. My best memories are from that town – riding horses, biking to the lake, running through corn fields, driving when I was 12, playing with the local kids -we even put on a talent show for the whole town! And we were outside ALL the time, something kids rarely do now.
        Unfortunately, my grandfather got sick while up there and passed away so they had to sell the house. Still wish we could have kept it in the family.

  8. I used to live in Erie and it is a great little town. I have never seen them open the bank building up to the public. There is a lot of history and buildings/houses from back in the day.

  9. I went to one year of high school in Erie. I love the people from Erie and the surrounding area as they are genuine and very accepting. I was raised on a farm about seven miles from Erie. I still return to Erie to see treasured friends whenever I return to North Dakota.

  10. Hi,does anyone remember the Morrow family or Hendersons,thru family hotis,etc

  11. My second great-grandparents, Henry and Minnie Schroeder, were the first settlers in Erie. They raised eight children there, among them my great-grandmother Hulda Schroeder who married Proctor Rice. In their old age, Henry and Minnie Schroeder moved from their farm to a townhouse at what is now 427 Nelson St. I would love to know if any church book records from the early days of Erie might have been preserved – would anybody know about that?

    • In my post from February 6, 2021 there are two persons with the name Schroeder mentioned. Something for you? Bertil

  12. A few years ago my wife and I visited Erie when we were on a trip to N.D. My great grandparents James and Fanny Needham homesteaded at Absaraka in 1879 and when they retired they bought a house in Erie about the early 1900s. I have a photo of the house taken 1905. The house still stands on highway 5 with the fancy scroll work at the peak of the roof. We stopped in to meet the owners but no one was home. The picture I have shows the scroll work and I was so pleased to see it there. House is just as you enter town.from the south. I would be very pleased if anyone from Erie that sees this post and knows the people who own the house if they could contact me. Oh I am also related to Gladys Kephart who has passed away.

  13. My parents, Lora and Lawrence Moss Sr., owned the local Moss Cafe for several years. I was 9 years of age when we moved to Minnesota. My siblings were basketball players and cheerleaders at the local school. My sibling’s names were Lawrence Jr., Myrna, Valerie, Dianna, Bernadine and Bruce. I was the youngest, LaDawn. Lots of fond memories of Erie, North Dakota. My sisters cried and cried when we left there to the farm in Minnesota!! I have photos of the old cafe and several of the inside bar and cafe!

    • Hello LaDawn,
      I am the son of the late Jim Collins. He told me stories about being friends with the Moss family. My mother remembers playing basketball against Myrna. She was wondering how Sonny and Linda are doing these days. I also have an old guitar with the name Moss on the back….never knew the sort behind it.

      • I recently learned that Sunny Moss died on Nov 18 of this year. His obituary is on the Karvonen Funeral Home site – Wadena, MN.
        Ted, Harry, Claudette & Ray Dan McGovern who were born & raised in Erie are my cousins. I met Sunny one summer when he and Ted drove to MN to visit; 1957 or ’58.

  14. I recently learned that Sonny Moss died on Nov 18 of this year. His obituary is on the Karvonen Funeral site – Wadena MN.
    I’m Ted, Harry & Claudette McGovern’s cousin.

  15. I have inherited a small but rather thick album (10x15x2cm). It once belonged to my uncle Albert Nelson (Manson). I think he got it as a Christmas present 1902. During 1903 many of his friends and relatives has written short comments or poems in the book e.g. Dear Albert: When you are old and cannot see – put on your spects and think of me. – Your school mate Georgia Kelley. Erie Feb 9 1903.
    Unfortunatly he didn’t get old – he died from the Spanish flu 1919 in Sweden.
    Here is a list of those who has written in his album:
    Catherine Warner, Frances E McArthur Hunter, Georgina Kelley, Ambros Warner, Bucher Warner, Ruben Bolmeier, George Schroeder, Ida Nelson (your cousin), Mrs Daniels, Wilhelmina Erickson, Mrs Carl Nelson (your aunt), John Holmgren, Ethel Mac Hill, Bessie Dolomater (?), Arthur Nelson, Roy Delamatier, Minnie Nelson (cousin), Esther Bolmeier, Clara E Schroeder. I suppose most of them are from Erie. A cousin Hilda Anderson is from Moorhead and a miss Cotton from Beloit Kansas.
    Sweden February 2021
    Bertil (Alberts nephew)

  16. I lived in Erie up until the age of 6. I attended kindergarten in Hunter. The school was already closed. My father owned the half section farm just to the west of Erie on the edge of town. My uncle Lowell Albert Sr. and cousin Lowell Albert Jr. are still there. My father Irie Kuball passed away in 1991. My mother Lorraine (Albert) passed away in 1993. Both lie in the Erie Cemetery. My grandfather Harry Albert passed away in 1995.

    Erich Henry Kuball

    • Erich: I ran into this note while I was googling Harry Albert, hoping to see his second wife’s name that I could not remember (have since remembered: Gladys). Anyway, I saw this and a memory flashed: my parents, Shorty and Mae Bjorgan, lived in Erie for a few years early in the 50’s. They were good friends with Harry and Helga. I was the flower girl at Harriette’s wedding. When we would visit Harry and Helga, they had a small child’s chair that they would say was mine. One time we were visiting and I was sitting in “my” chair when some others came to visit, and a boy my age ran up and told me to get out of his chair. I responded that it was MY chair. And we argued. And Harry intervened. Harry said that it was my chair sometimes and sometimes it was the other boy’s chair. That boy was Dale Irie Kuball, as I remember. So maybe it was your dad, Irie Kuball, and I’m remembering the name wrong or maybe there is a Dale Irie Kuball. Anyway, seeing your note brought back that memory and I thought you might get a kick out of it.

      My folks remained friends with Harry and Gladys after Helga’s death. And Gladys played accordion accompanying my dad on guitar (and Mom and Dad would sing) for many “doings” over the years.

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