Auburn, ND

Auburn is a very small town in Walsh County, north of Grafton.  There was an active harvest happening the day I visited, and most of the homes are still inhabited.  The population appears to be a dozen or two.

Due to a finicky camera, I was only able to capture the photos you see below on my Android.  The church is the most impressive structure on the townsite.  It looks like it’s been abandoned for some time, and it appears to be locked up tight.  There is also a grain elevator in Auburn that looks to be largely out of service, but certain parts of it are still being utilized.

Janis (Anderson) Friedrichs sent in a PDF of a newspaper story about Auburn which you can see here.

Photos by Troy, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

28 Comments on “Auburn, ND

  1. That 40’s coupe that was in front of the garage in your last pics of the pink building is gone… It didn’t look like that thing would ever move again.

    • I believe the family just pulled or pushed it into the garage. I live next door but haven’t went to look due to the fact I saw Pepe La Pew over by there this past winter.

  2. When newly weds my husband and I lived in Auburn North Dakota for about seven years. We considered being married in the church you have photographed. At that time it was used for worship by migrant workers. We knew the priest who served there. Instead we were married in the Landstad Lutheran Church stood at the corner of the entrance to Auburn which had long stood vacant. The following summer the Lanstad Church was moved to the historical park in the nearby town of Grafton, the County Seat. Thanks for taking time to capture this picture. It brought happy memories of the hamlet we lived in, our “old” neighborhood.

    • My great grandfather’s brother homesteaded the land that was to become Auburn when James J Hill brought the Great Northern Railroad north of Grafton. The line ended at Neche on the Canadian border. When I was growing up Auburn was a very live and active community. For example, the Auburn Family Fun Club would put on musicals. Today, as in all of ND the land is still farmed. Every acre. However, the only farmers calling Auburn home is ours, a Davis family, an Anderson farm, a Lykken farm, and a Thompson farm, all great grandsons of the pioneers. At one time there was a farm on every quarter section. That’s called technological progress and it why American’s spend less of their disposable income on food than any nation in the world. As for the other descendents of those pioneers they are spread from sea to shining sea across our country. America, with an occasional stumble has kept its promise of freedom and opportunity, even today.

  3. Concerning remaining farms in the Auburn community I forgot to add the Burns farm and a DeSautel farm, also descendended from pioneering families.

  4. I recently moved my family into the house that I was raised in right in the middle of Auburn. My parents, Rodney and Donna Uggerud bought a 1 bedroom 1 stall home. The house has since been built onto twice. Currently within the villages city limits there is a population of about 35. The town definately does not look the same as it did growing up and I’m still in my 30s.
    My family farm is about 7 miles away and next year will be a centenial farm.

  5. I used to help clean the church and made my 1st communion at this church, yes i was a migrant worker – now a six figure employee at a major technology company in texas – yes that company :-).
    YES i am female, yes i have a great family live (2 kids – 1 at Harvard, 1 at Brown) and a great job.
    I learn plenty from working in the fields.
    Thanks Grafton and Auburn, ND and all those long rows of suger beets.
    Que VIVA EL Norte!

    • Those long rows of beets around Auburn taught my children a lot about life and how much time they required of their father and uncle, and their entire families. They too must have learned something as they also spent time at Harvard (post doc at med school) as well as places like Dartmouth, Notre Dame, Columbia. Also, UW-Madison, Pacific. and UM-TC. The generosity of the American people in supporting students is wonderful. You and I owe them a great thanks.

    • Wow..! So proud of you.
      My mom and Dad worked the fields there as to all my aunts and uncles, they also lived in the houses in the ranch where they worked, they grew up there and raised their family’s there. My parents even got married in that church, but moved from there to persué a better future. A couple of years ago, I got the oportunity to visit and met with David, one of the ranch owner, i learned that my mom was his crush when they were little. Lol! It’s so beautiful and peaceful. The houses that my grandma and my aunts and uncles used to live, still stand strong and as a reminder of my hard working family. It all started with my grandma and grandpa The Rodriguez family is now spread out trough the USA with some still living there in Grafton holding the roots.

    • I also made my 1 St Communion at this church and I am from Texas, maybe I knew you

  6. My mother Shirley Bazey grew up around Auburn and remembers going to catechism classes at that church and also across from church there was a store where the kids would put on school plays.

    • Sorry my mom’s childhood friends name wasn’t David. It was Mr. Lee Lykken. Whom I came to meet a couple of years. Wonderful gentleman.

  7. Check out the new PDF at the top of this blog that I sent which contains a brief history of the town of Auburn. It’s very interesting! Some of the words may have faded, but your should still be able to get the gist. I grew up there and still have family there, and visit often. The Anderson house is right next to what was the Town Hall. Part of that building is still there and we own it and use it for storage. That is the building where plays were performed. The stage is still there. I remember the dances and other community activities put on by the Family Fun Community Club or the Farmers Elevator. The townspeople and neighboring farmers enjoyed many events there over the years. I wasn’t around when the Auburn Store was operating, but my grandparents (Luther and Alma Lykken) were proprietors before it was sold to (I believe) Art Fay. Other families that made their homes in Auburn included 4 Hanson brothers, Gilbert (Winnie Burns), Art, Turnel, and Albert. The Albert Hanson family still owns the pink house in the pictures here, as well as another house next to it. LaVonne Hanson-Heilner owns the property now and still visits there in the summer months. Many of us who grew up there just can’t let go of that charming little town.

  8. Hello all…I am a grandson of Laura Davis who lived at the other end of the street in the big white house…across the small field from Mr &and Mrs. Bell. Leroy and Dale Paulson used to live in that little pink house so long ago. As of a few years ago I went through and it looked like the Virginia Anderson house was there and occupied. I lived there 50 years ago in that little area. Farther down the road…were the Kelkas. A lot of migrant and mexican people used to attend that church. My cousins Scott and Brett Davis…Dougie Anderson…Leroy and Dale were all small children there at the time. We used to go to Dougie’s house and watch “Dark Shadows.” Hope someone else reads this…and remembers. I spent the first 5 years of my life in Auburn.

    • Hello David, I lived about three miles west of Auburn. Older than you, I was friends with Roger Davis, Laura’s son, also Bill Haug from the farm just east of Auburn. My brother now owns the Gib Hanson and Les Burns farms to the west and south of Auburn.

    • I was there 1 time in January of 1962 and I think it was the coldest place I have ever been in my life. I have wished countless times since then that you could have spent those years with me.

  9. Hello David – I remember you and Laura and your mom, Peggy. I am Doug’s sister, Janis. The Virginia Anderson house is still there and still occupied. Doug still lives in Auburn. Other long-time families that are still there include the Hansons, Burns’, Nelsons, and Uggeruds. I remember you, Doug and Scott running around the town together, Leray and Dale too. Right now there are about 12 children that live in Auburn. If you haven’t done so you may be interested in the above document at the top of this website that has some of Auburn’s history.

  10. My brothers, sister and I have so many fond memories of St. Ann’s. Our parents Felipe and Amalia Martinez were very active in every part of the church, dad in the mass service and maintaining the grounds and building, mom cooking, there were fiesta, wedding, so many baptized, first communions, and dances so many happy memories. I remember one winter we called St. Ann’s home, living in the basement. We grew up knowing and playing with the Andersons Hansons, Burns, Nelsons among others. We went to school in Auburn, and lived and worked at Lykken Farms. We still go and see the St. Ann’s and visit Lykken farm our old homestead. I may have moved but my heart will always be in North Dakota Grafton and Auburn. I love running into these people I grew up with.

  11. Hi, my husband Steve and I and also had 2 kids lived just north of the church in the last house which back in the early 1900’s was the Auburn school house. We lived there for 12 yrs while remodeling our home to how it is today. We loved living in the Auburn everyone was also so friendly and you could always trust your neighbors.

  12. I’ve enjoyed reading this as I’m familiar with many of the people who’ve written here. Very cool.

  13. Thank you for a trip back in time. I enjoyed a whole summer working with Father Barrett and the nuns ( I think from Oakwood) in preparing the migrant workers children for their first communion..
    At the end of the season there was always a “Fiesta” It was great fun and the joy of the workers families and the good food was the perfect end to celebrate First Communion at St. Anne’s.
    I also recall the “star” of Auburn,Jeanne Archer, wife of McCann Archer, who had a daily radio show in Grafton, and at times would even broadcast from their home in Auburn.

  14. I grew up on the south side of US81 and attended both the schools in Auburn. One room, same teacher (Mrs Ordahl) all 8 grades. Served Mass every morning (6:30) and
    Sundays starting with Fr. German for several years. Dale Hauge, Roger Davis and I were the 3 amigos at that time. So many great memories so little space to list them all. My roots will always be in Auburn. Capt. Bill Hanson, United Airlines (ret)

  15. How old is these church, when I was young we use to migrate to North Dakota. Remember going once to a church in Auburn. I wonder if this is the church it was in the late 60s and maybe early 70s.

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