Calvin, ND

Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin is a near-ghost town in Cavalier county, not far from the Canadian border.  It was founded in 1902 as a stop on the Great Northern Railroad, and swelled to 350 residents at its peak. Today, Calvin is home to about 20 residents. I found these photos on a disc Terry gave me back in 2006, but I was unsure where they were taken.  Based on the photos of the Corinthian Lodge and time stamp on the photos, I came to the conclusion that these photos were taken in Calvin.  If anyone spots a misplaced photo, please contact us.

Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin, North Dakota The entire top floor of this lodge has collapsed in the years since these photos were taken.

Calvin, North Dakota

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Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin, North Dakota

Calvin, North Dakota

Photos by Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media

38 Comments on “Calvin, ND

  1. Lived in calvin from 1972 to 1991 i know most of those pics you took brings back memories

    • I know every one of those pix!! I lived in two of those houses and lived next door to two of them!! We were just there on Saturday for Wynn Gebur’s burial….it’s definitely starting to resemble a ghost town….and it was already pretty puny when I left there 30+ years ago!

  2. The lodge is beautiful as is the white house with the leaded bay windows. Oh, to live in this place. Would be good to see what it looks like now. Thanks for keeping these posts coming.

  3. Yes, it’s Calvin. I was just there last week. (Spet 2012) Grew up there from late 1940’s until I graduated from high school and went off to college in 1966. It was a wonderful place to live. Still have family there. Still consider all the folks I knew back then as friends. The Presbyterian church is nicely painted, and the grain elevators are new since I left. The Post Office is gone, and has been replaced by a row of large mailboxes. The train still comes and hauls 55-60 grain cars to the grain elevators to load up the bountiful harvest of 2012, which was a BUMPER CROP with prices very nicely high —-for a change! The farm machinery that you see harvesting the crops this year look well maintained and are HUGE in comparison to what they were in the late 1960’s when I left. There are a few nice homes in the city limits. The masonic temple has changed somewhat since the photo was taken. Some of the side streets in town are less traveled now and the weeds have grown up in the middle of the roads. It looks strange. All the daily driving on them years ago kept the roads so packed, that weeds could’nt have taken root. Now….time has passed, and they look more like prairie roads.

    • As a young child my Aunt and Uncle took me to the Presbyterian Church a few times in summer. I have good memories of that church. My mother was Lenna Belle Henderson Keeling–I wonder if we share some long ago genes? Her father was James Henderson.

      • We DO INDEED, Aline! My grandfather was George Henderson, Jr., who was the elder brother to James. George didn’t marry until he was in his mid 40’s. He married a gal
        in her early 20’s from Prince Edward Island, Canada, a lovely lady by the name of
        Lenna Jane MacArthur. They had Everett, Keith, Burton, Geraldine and David Henderson. I’m a daughter of David’s. James Henderson married Christine mcMillan and had 8 children: Mae Lillian, Leslie, Harvey, Lloyd, Lucille, Lenna Belle, and Elmira. James married the 2nd time to Jennie Scott and had 1 son, Walter James Henderson. So, your Mom, Lenna Belle married Allen Howard Keeling and they had Wayne, Aline, (you) Joyce, Allen, Charles, Annabelle, Howard and Kathryn. You’re married to Hilary Francis Krala. You were born in Sanford, just 2 hrs. south of me, (Jacksonville). Do you still live in Chicago? I only have info on you up to 1975. So, your GREAT GRANDFATHER and my GREAT GRANDFATHER was George Henderson, Sr 1831-1894. My grandfather, George Henderson and your grandfather, James Henderson were brothers. My Father, David Henderson and your Mom, Lenna Belle Henderson Keeling were first cousins, so you and I are Second Cousins, Aline.

  4. Ah yes, I have been there before, I remember that Lodge well, just didn’t take any photos (about 2004). It is quite an amazing building. It’s too bad it is where it is, not much happening in that part of the state these days. That white house is something special as well.

    Since these photos are from 6 years ago – anyone know if the Lodge is still in this good of shape?

  5. I was in Calvin the past few days. The rear of the temple has caved in. On friday I looked in the window on the east back side of it and there are coffee cups and a large coffee urn just sitting there waiting for someone to make coffee.

  6. I notice that some lawns are still well kept in several of the pictures. I wonder if there are contents in the cornerstone of the lodge?

  7. Calvin was my mother’s home town and although I was there as a child, I don’t recognize any of the pictures. I can’t wait to show this to my mother who will be 90 in November. She is the daughter of Richard and Matie Buckingham

    • The masons met there, my father was a past master of the lodge. He says this was the second lodge on the site as the original had burned in about 1910, this one was built in around 1912.

  8. There is actually only 11 people in Calvin and 2 of them only live here in the summer. Sheila B

  9. I lived in Calvin only breifly in 70-71, but i still remember it the way it was.
    Judy Gage’s Cafe, Mel Trudel’s Standard station, the bowling ally was still open for a time.
    the post office and my step-father (which I know not to many cared for) had the Bar and the groc. store for a while. I walked by the Temple every day on my way to school and it was still used some in those days. it sad to see this wonderful place just about in ruins !

    • i knew Mel from tanrd oiol days also a fellow by the name of Plumber from Sarles i sold him clothes when i workd at Sharks in Devils Lake seem to me he had some connection with alvin

      • I knew Mel from Standard Oil days . Also knew a man from Sarles by the name of Plummer
        who I believe was in the same business as Mel and I . I sold him clothes when i worked at Sarks clothing in Devils Lake .

        • Gene, that was Harris Plumber from Sarles all his family live in Wahpeton ND now, Mel trudel moved from Calvin to Cando ND in 1972 my dad bought his house on the hill on the south side of calvin,

  10. I spent part of the school year, the 4th grade in Calvin while my father helped build grain elevators in the surrounding Area. This must have been 1955 or 56. We rented rooms over the cafe that was run by a Mrs. Cox. She had 2 daughters that I remember, Sandra who was my age and Maureen who was older and had a cute boyfriend named Stacey (Tracey). Also remember a classmate, believe his name was Miles Buskirk. I drove thru calvin about 5 years ago and couldn’t believe my eyes, everything, cafe, school etc was gone.

  11. Mardelle, I had forgotten about this wonderful website until I ran across it just now. It may be too late to send you a message this way. The names of the brothers you mentioned are so familiar to me. My mother talked about her uncles often with such a loving spirit that I knew they must have been a close and kind family. I thank you so much for the geneological rundown. Two boys in my mother’s family were unknown to me–she talked about Leslie (who died at 18, I think) but not the other boys.

    I appreciate your info and hope we can meet one day. If there is another Henderson reunion, keep me in mind please. cousin Aline

  12. Dear Mardelle,

    My dad is a clear minded 91 year old. He has recently shown interest in Calvin, ND since he fondly remembers shocking grain there when he was 17 (1939). He and a couple Hakes boys from Cadott, WI made the trip. He seems to think he worked for a family of Andersons. Do you remember that name back then or do you think it must’ve been Henderson? Maybe you won’t be able to be sure of that. He remembers a well centrally located in town but they couldn’t drink it with all the alkaline. They used to get their thirst quenched from ice melting on a train car. Just curious if you can add anything to his memory.

    Thanks, Jim

    • Jim…. There was a family named Anderson. I know that because they had twin girls, and one was killed in a car accident in Oct 1921. My uncle Clarence “Everett” Henderson received severe injuries in the same car accident and died from a broken back and complication six months later. Sadly, that’s all I know about the Anderson Family.
      –Mardelle Henderson Wehby

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  14. The blue house with the porch was my house. We moved when I was 12 (1994) and I still miss it. The house looks pretty sad now, but it was nice to see it again.

    • I believe your blue house may be the house I lived in when I was born. Do you know who your parents bought it from?



  16. Ate many pancake dinners in that building with my Grandma Delores Gebur was such a neat building

  17. The blue house was the home of Bill and Janet (Seaworth) Clopper. Janet was my Dad’s sister. She came to Calvin from Illinois in 1918 with her family when she was 14. My Dad was just 5. The Seaworth farm was located next to the school along Highway 20. Bill Clopper grew up in Clyde. He was a WWI Veteran and a rural mail carrier when he lived in Calvin. Janet was a school teacher. They are buried in the Clyde cemetery. I have happy memories of visiting them in Calvin when I was a boy in the 1960’s. My Dad, George Seaworth, passed away at age 97 in 2011. I miss being able to hear his stories about growing up in Calvin. I have some of Janet and Bill’s pictures of Calvin.

  18. My home town. The nice looking two story white house is the Presbyterian Manse, located next to the church. I don’t believe it has been lived in since the early 50’s at the latest. I became a member of Corinthian Lodge in about 1971 – possibly the last new member of the lodge. My uncle Austin Lewis was very active in the organization and believe his father (my grandfather Sam Lewis) was as well. Both are buried in the Corinthian Cemetery north of town as are my parents Duane and Una Mae (Lewis) Henriksen. The Standard Oil station was owned by Howard Crummy when I was a boy. He kept Tootsie Rolls in his till for good little kids. One never knows what kindness will be remembered 60 years later.

  19. I just found this website and here is a comment by my brother a day earlier!! Wonderful memories of this nice little town ~ the Presbyterian Church (vacation Bible school was the best!!), Border Central High School, the old bowling alley, the streets on Halloween evening, the friends we had… Great place to grow up!

  20. My mom grew up in Calvin (Violette Bradburn) & my father in the Sarles & Hannah area, he also spent a lot of time in Calvin. My grandparents were Claude & Idella Bradburn. We spent a lot of time in Calvin as I recall as a child. I have very fond memories of Calvin.

    • Your mom and my dad were double cousins as Claude’s
      brother Ralph (my grandfather), married Idella’s sister
      Mary Wilkinson.(my grandmother) My Dad was close to Neal Bradburn.
      My dad is Warren Bradburn.

      Dick Bradburn

  21. Your mom and mine were very dear friends Paula. Your grandfather and later your uncle Neal were special to me. In fact, Neal was responsible for my career choice. I knew your parents although not as well as Neal and your grandfather.

  22. My grandmother, Aura Belle(Babe) Monteith McBride, grew up in the area of Calvin. Great-grandfather Monteith was on the railroad.

  23. I went through Calvin on Memorial Day and I see the Lodge has been burned down. Probably due to safety concerns since the roof caved in. I remember many pancake suppers there over the years.

  24. I’m a member of a Norwegian lodge. Could you send me the story of the Calvin lodge? Why did it fall apart so sadly? E-mail

    Einar Kr. Holtet,
    Oslo, Norway.

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