Isabel, North Dakota was an unincorporated community in the north central part of the state, about 50 minutes southeast of Rugby. We were on our way to Baker when we came upon the sign marking the former site of Isabel Country School. We did not realize we were on the site of a ghost town until we began to research the location after we had returned home. The monument to the school and the abandoned farmstead shown here are all that remains.
Isabel appears as a town in some publications, but not in others. Calling it a ‘town’ is a term to be used loosely, as explained by Travis Woyen in comments below — his family occupied Isabel for quite some time.
This site is in a very sparsely populated portion of the state. According to the 2000 Census, Isabel township only boasts 70 residents. It is a beautiful place to drive on a rolling but knotty stretch of highway, though. There is no better way to spend a hot summer day than to breeze down the back roads with the windows down and the air conditioner off (sometimes), searching for a place where, when you turn the car off, the silence is loud.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp