Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden is a small town in Cavalier County, home to the Cavalier County Museum at Dresden, about six miles northwest of Langdon.  The museum is housed in the former Holy Trinity Church, an incredible field-stone structure erected in 1936.

Dresden is home to numerous historic structures in varying states of restoration, including the Dyer School which was moved to the site from Milton, the former Langdon Jail, and more.  The crew at the Cavalier County Historical Society is doing quite a job up there. They have their own blog where you can learn a lot more about Dresden and the attractions.

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Hopes for a boom spurred by the railroad were a longshot for many communities near the Canadian border.  Many of the railroad lines just petered out without actually crossing into Canada.

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

There’s a collector out there who would pay good money for that truck.

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Dresden, North Dakota

Luxury accommodations in this 1896 jail cell from Langdon.

Dresden, North Dakota

Photos by Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

44 Comments on “Dresden, North Dakota

  1. Thank you so much for showing great pics of my childhood playground. That used to be my grandfather’s farm – the house that is kind of falling in with all the trees. Its sad to see it that way, but thank you so much for the trip down memory lane.

  2. I have been looking at this web-site for several months now and find it fantastic! What pieces of history you have photographed. Today, I finally looked at your Facebook page and THAT is AWESOME! IF I EVER WIN THE LOTTERY, I’LL SEND A NICE DONATION AND MY FIRST VACATION IN YEARS WILL BE A SUMMER LONG TRIP TO NORTH DAKOTA. THE SKIES ARE SO BEAUTIFUL AND I SEE PERFECT PEACE AND QUIET THERE!

  3. The stone church is amazing! I’ve learned so much about my home state from your postings. Thanks!

  4. After traveling over a significant part of the country and the world, I have to agree with Kathleen Hastings that perfect peace and quiet are more attainable there (in North Dakota) than anywhere else I’ve been. Got a kick out of the caboose pic; when I was a kid in the 70’s the best parts (for me) of pioneer villages etc. were the cabooses and the jails! I was a bad traveler (in other words, I drove my parents nuts on road trips), so my dad used to stop at abandoned buildings and we’d explore them to break up drives between Mandan and Rugby; I loved doing that, and this website helps me relive some of my best childhood memories on a regular basis. Thanks for what you do!

  5. yea Dresden…..My parents were the first couple married in the stone church… i was the first baby baptized in this church and the last one married there…… it holds a special spirit for me.. my brothers and I went to “Catechism” there and i remember our “Lutheran” friends biking by and having fun while we were learning how to make our “first” Confession or whatever…

      • I’m Dave Gellner son of Al Gellner we lived in Dresden North Dakota from 1950 to about 1954 we have at that time we had five siblings Mrs raffinbel

        was our teacher

  6. As a current resident of Dresden, I want to thank you for your work on this. Most of the old, time worn buildings are now gone. This is part of our commitment to “clean up Dresden”. We’re very proud of our museum and the staff does a wonderful job.

    • congratulations on a job well done; you should be VERY PROUD of the work that you have done on preserving this town. the stone church is wonderful. Keep up the good work !

  7. Thank you for the awesome photo! Every time I go home I spend a day at Dresden – lots of great memories.

    • I see the amoco truck in the old shed .
      What hppened to the jobber I remember talkinfg to him at a meeting in Devils Lake JHe also sold Lawn boy Lawn mowers . We were in the same business I in Esmond

      • Gene,
        Allan DuBois is alive and well and is living in Langdon, ND. He turned 80 this summer. I am his son, Jay, and I still run the bulk business from Dresden. We are no longer in the lawn mower business.

        • It’s March 2016 and I was looking through these old pics My wife and i sold out to Cenex in 1998 Ii’ve often wondered what happpened in Dresden had such a nic e vivit with yoiur dad tha time in Devils lake

  8. My Great Grandfather Joseph Uhrich built a house and farmed there, came from Canada in 1895. My Grandfather is Alex Uhrich and settled in the Wales area. These pics bring back sweet memories.

  9. I thought it was BigMoe lawn mowers that Allan DuBois sold have to get back up there and check out all the small towns again Dresden, Wales , Hannah, Sarles, Calvin, Clyde so many towns

  10. My family lived in the lot next to the Catholic Church. We as children played in the area that is now the Cavalier County museum. We now live in Pelican Rapids, MN.

  11. My Mother, Verona Timian was born there in 1918. The Otto Timian family then mover to Crystal, ND and farmed a 1/4 section 5 mile East of town.

    • My grandparents lived in Dresden ND, my great grandmother was Anna Timian married to Frederick Brehmer. My grandfather was Robert Meier and they moved to Michigan in 1936 when my grandmother Anna Brehmer passed away. I visited this area with my family about 8 years ago and view the old buildings and the cemetary where so many of my ancestors are buried. If you would like to contact me to share family info, I would love to share what I have. I have been working on family scrapbooks and have thousands of pictures of family from the late 1800’s on, of which many have not been identified.

      • Also, if anyone could tell me the name of the school that my mother attended here until 1936, that would be awesome. She is trying to track done her school records at the age of 92.
        Thank you!!

      • My grandfather was Otto Timian who lived in or near Dresden before moving to a 1/4 section farm east of Crystal, ND. I also have second cousin’s who are Brehmer’s.

        • I thought that might be true. I have pictures of Timian family events that Otto is in. If you are interested in sharing family info, let’s figure out a way to stay in touch. This would make my Mom very happy.Do you live in North Dakota now? We are all in Michigan, the surviving members of my Mom’s family that is. Most of her contacts in North Dakota have passed away.

  12. When we were young my sister and I would visit our Grandparents Joseph and Julia Pastorek. Have so many great memories of this town. If anyone has pictures of their house could you Please post it for us. Love this place.

    • Joanne, if you look in the pictures above, the Pastorek home is the picture directly under the picture with the Amoco truck in the shed. Unfortunately the house became vacated and eventually ended up in this condition. I burned the house down about 3 or 4 years ago. A few of your cousins from the Minneapolis area were up to see the place about 2 years ago and my brother farms Joe’s family land south of Dresden.

  13. hi. Bob Ziegler here in Minot. I am originally from Pennsylvania and am retired Air Force. Just stayed in the area after retirement. I am jealous of all your memories of small town life and friends and relatives stretching back generations, but I keep coming back to this website. Excellent photography and wonderful stories. (and before anyone asks, I’m not related to any Ziegler’s in North Dakota, lol). I get that question all the time.

  14. Does anyone know of a Fred Raymond Robison born June 26, 1891 in Dresden… family in the area?

  15. Clark, I looked through both Dresden books and I found no mention of a Robison family in the histories. However it was a quick look through. If you could tell me what Mr. Robison’s father did as a trade, it may be easier to find. Also, at the museum in Dresden, we have a very extensive collection of county newspapers that a person might be able to find something in with a lot of work. Please follow and interact with the Cavalier County Museum – Dresden, North Dakota on facebook.

  16. Jay, are the two books about Dresden still available to buy? I would love to get a copy of each. We lived in Dresden for several years. We moved to California in 1955. I
    knew your Aunt Lois a little bit because my sister Luella was friends with her.

    I would appreciate any info you can give me on how to purchase the Dresden books. Thank you

  17. Jean, we have reprints of the two books available. They are $15 each and are probably 80-100 pages each. A lot of family histories, business histories and Dresden goings ons from back in the day are in them. If you would like for me to send them out, give me a call @ 701-256-5957. The morning is generally the best time to call.

  18. Jay — its Nancy Clark (formerly Magnus – Dale & Judy’s daughter) I haven’t been to the museum in years but did love it when i was there. Great job!

    • I remember you well Nancy. If you ever get this way and would like to see in the museum, just let me know. I still live in Dresden at the same place.

  19. Greetings to all of you interested in Ghosts of NorthDakota.
    I am a grandson of Fred Brehmer and Anna Timian, son of Alvin Brehmer and Dorothea Meier. Thus, also a grandson of Christian H. Meier and Mary Nuelle.
    Am I correct in saying that the stone church was built by August Timian?

    I hope I’m not to late to order the reprinted books mentioned by Jay DuBois.

    • I would be interested as well, my grandfather was your uncle I believe. Robert Meier, my mother is Florence Hanks from Michigan. I know you send her Christmas cards every year. I would love to get more info on the North Dakota families so I can scrapbook her family history correctly. Please let me know if this book is available.
      So happy to see your comment Charles!

  20. The Pastorek cousins Joanne, Pam, and Linda ar coming to visit on Fathers Day Weekend. I am interested in getting to see what the town looks like. It’s been 60 plus years since I was in town with my Grandparents. Hoping to see some people who lived there back then. The picture of the house after the shed does not look anything like my Grandparents home. I will some pictures that I have.

  21. Still waiting for the books. What can I do to speed up the process?

    I am Charles A Brehmer, Grandson of Fred Brehmer, who Homesteaded midway between Wales and Dresden, Married Amelia Timmian, daughter of Gustaf Timmian and together raised 11 Children all of whom have passed away.

    Thank you for the e-mail. Am I correct in thinking that the stone church building, now a museum, was built on land donated by Timmians?


  22. Went to the breakfast this year with 2 of my cousins Pam and Linda and my daughter in law Kim. We were able to get more information about our family members who lived in Dresden. It was very hard for me to see my Grandparents home witch was burned down. We really enjoyed our visit. We will be back. Thank You Tim Du Bois for the time he spent with us. Very helpful.

  23. My Grampa Moritz was born in Dresden N Dakota, and he had 2 brothers. It would be great to find a cousin at some point.

  24. Jay DuBois – thank you for your work. I am the great grandson of Henry Raffenbeul. My grandfather was William Raffenbeul who married Etta Brehmer. With that marriage I have ties to the Timians, and the Buchweitz families. I have not been to Dresden since the passing of Eddie Raffenbeul in 1998. I am glad to see people keeping the town alive and remembered.

  25. Hello all! Just arrived at this great website and reading the wonderful posts. I am a descendant of Joseph Louis Gatschene, whom I believe, along with a good number of his extended family lived in Dresden, Gull Lake and maybe other small towns in the area. Joseph left the Dresden area around 1905 for Regina, SK, however, returned several times to visit family. His father and mother, John and Margaretha, apparently stayed in the area until their passing. Anyway, great site and cool pictures. Maybe I have some cousins still in the area???
    Derek Swezey

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