Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, ND

Hamar, North Dakota is in Eddy County, not far from Tolna, about a half hour southeast of Devils Lake.  We met a local resident named Troy Gleason who gave us quite a bit of information on Hamar — the population is six, including a family of  three, two widows, and Troy.

Hamar, North Dakota

This former school still hosts meetings on occasion.

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar didn’t seem particularly remote compared to some of the places we’ve visited, so I was somewhat surprised to discover cell service was hit and miss.

Hamar, North Dakota

The building shown here is the former post office for Hamar.  Carla Christofferson, Miss North Dakota 1989, and now renowned Los Angeles attorney and co-owner of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, was raised on a farm near here, and Mr. Gleason told us Ms. Christofferson’s mother once ran the post office in Hamar out of this building. At one time, there was a trailer attached.

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, ND

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota

Hamar, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

52 Comments on “Hamar, North Dakota

  1. The local architecture and building designs is strikingly beautiful. The school house is just another example of many.

      • Well, that is a reference to me, but I have gotten a lot of teasing about how much of the description is accurate!

    • Ah Hamar,Myrtle Thieland was My teacher for Our 1st 4 grades,Then Mrs.Halvorson til they closed the school.We lived next to the school in Lector LaMotts house til The LaMotts moved back to Hamar and took over the Bar.My father Elmer Hjelden worked for Eddy county as the road grader operator.Our family totaled 16 children but most had already left home .I think 8 of Us lived in Hamar with Mom and Dad til Dads [passing]1958.Mom Isabella lived there for many years after all the kids had left.

      • I believe my grandparents were both born in Hamar,as well as my father . Grandpa was Francis (frank) Lamotte,grandma was Gertrude Carroll,my father was Daniel Francis Lamotte

  2. Hamar was my address before I moved away in the 1960’s. When the post office closed, Tolna became the address instead of Hamar. I grew up on a farm aprox. 7 miles south of Hamar. I knew kids that went to that school in Hamar. I went to a one room school house in the country that was right west of our house. One gal by the name of Barbara Kjelden who went to the school in Hamar and I won the Eddy county spelling contest when we were eighth graders. We tied with a score of 100.

    We had neighbors two our south who moved into Hamar. They were Amanda and Carl Johnson. They used to visit us alot. Mom and Amanda had many good talks.

    It is sad to see these town that we knew so well become “ghost towns” Thanks for keeping these memories alive by this website.

    • Please excuse the typo (second paragraph) in my last post. It should read “to” instead of “two”. I tried editing it but there was no way that could be done. Also in third paragraph a typo. Should read “towns” instead of “town”.

      • LOL…I saw that ‘two’ right away, it stuck out like a sore thumb. I’ve tried to find an edit function too.

    • So many comments about the bar that I just have to ask… I’m told that my grandpa Alfred Anderson from McHenry, ND used to drive up that way to the bar every once-in-a-while. Anyone remember him or have a story they could tell me?

      I’m big into family history, so I’d love to hear about family members. Grandpa liked to drink & some of the stories I’ve heard from around McHenry are pretty funny!

  3. “Lots of great memories of Hamar Bar with Ernie and Pickles.”
    Oh yeah, who could ever forget Ernie? What a guy! You would walk in to the bar, there’d be tractor seat stools, maybe a dog sleeping in the corner. sometimes a patron or two sleeping as well. Yep, been there a few times in my youth.

    • When Ernie had the bar, he was married to my Dad’s sister, & he was quite a guy, if he served you a drink once, he remembered & had your drink ready by the time you sat down. It was a fun place, ya never knew what was going to happen next. I have fond memories of Ernie & the bar & I have cousins that tell “Ernie & the Hamar Bar” stories to anyone that will listen.

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  5. My Mom (Inis Thompson back then) taught at Hamar back during WW2. She also taught in Baker and Harlow. In one of those three town she lost all her belongings in a house fire.

  6. My late ex-mother in law, Margaret Eikom Brudeseth taught at that one room school in the 1940s and possibly into the 1950s. Her parents, the Eikoms, lived in Hamar when I first visited in 1976 with my ex, Richard Norman Brudeseth. The house you see belonged to the late Clarence and Jenny Brudeseth (Clarence owned the general store) and was inherited by Norman and Margaret Brudeseth as a summer home until Norman’s passing in 1993. The house next door, smaller, belonged to the Eikom family and they lived in it until around the early 1980s. Hope this helps the history.

    • Margaret Eikom was my grandmas sister she taught my Grandpa Rodger Gillett

  7. My grandparents Norman and Margaret (Eikom) Brudeseth and my mom and uncle are from Hamar. Seeing these pictures brought back lots of happy summertime memories! Thanks for sharing them.

  8. Hi Sherry! Imagine running into a “kind of” relative…lol. It’s sad to see Hamar disappearing. I’d love to buy the old house just have it in the family.

  9. I’m Floyd Joramo, Son of Joseph Joramo, Who was brother of Olaf, Sam,& Carl Joramo. I was born in The Now Ghost town of Hamar ND. Attended Minco Valley School 1st grade, and 2nd 3rd grade at Hamar School 1946 & 47 My mother Mame was the teacher.
    My father owned the farm a half mile North of town from pre WWI to 1948.
    My Brother Lee is buried in Tolna Cemetery.

  10. My Dad, Olger Myhre taught at the Hamar school in the 1930’s – My grandpa, Stuart B. Clute was a mail carrier in Hamar for 40 some years, retiring in the early 1960s. He was there while Clarence and Jenny Brudeseth were there. I spent a lot of time in Hamar visiting my grandparents and have wonderful memories. I remember the Gleasons, Brudeseths, Lector Lamont, Ray Lamont, Gilletts, and Lisscas. My aunt Bette Clute Tweed taught at Minco school and my uncle Don Clute owned the Hamar grocery store after my uncle Odin Hovdness owned and operated it for years.

    • Stuart Clute used to make rubber band guns for all the kids in town,Wish I still had one of them.He used to make them from apple boxes and would use a clothed pin for the trigger.To Me they were a work of art.

      • Stuart was my grandfather and namesake. I was about 7 when he passed. I am proud to call him my grandpa.

  11. i have wonderful memories of Hamar. My cousins and I spent time during the summer with our Grandma Caroline LaMotte. Caroline and Lector LaMotte owned the bar prior to Ernie.

    • Remember when we used to play outside the bar while we were waiting for our folks to have a few…
      I remember taking our cream in and we were so excited, because when we were done we could have an ice cream cone. I remember the bar and it’s uneven floor…using the post office…and the many hours sitting at the grain elevator with a load of grain while drinking a soda from the coke machine.
      I spent my 21 birthday in Hamar at the bar with Ernie, my Mom, Joyce Anderson, at the time and a friend…so yes, I have a few memories…happy ones!

  12. I left Hamar in 1963 and moved to Devils Lake.My mother and father,Lector and Caroline LaMotte owned the Hamar Bar from late 50’s to early 70’s.Always proud that I grew up in the Hamar area.

    • Tom,I was born in Devil’s lake,my parents are Daniel Francis Lamotte and Jackie

  13. I am a very distant relative of Ernie, and I visited the bar once. That was enough for a lifetime of memories.
    1) Bullet holes in the ceiling
    2) Bullet holes in the door
    3) Tables of plywood and benches from school busses
    4) The pile of “Unmarked ” electrical cords on the backbar. Ernie had to get luckey to get the correct one on the first try.
    5) Unisex toilet that allowed the user to have their head and feet visible at all times.
    6) Paneling in the backroom that only had nails half way up the wall.
    7)The dust that would roll in under the door, with any passing vehicle.
    8) Seats not connected to the stools
    9) Greted with a very warm welcome

    • Don’t forget about the rolling uneven floor!
      One the best countryside bars of all time.
      Kinda like going back k to the late 1800s.

  14. Is this town been called Hamar because of Hamar the city in Norway? I see that many of you have Skandinavian lastnames.

  15. My mother came from Hamar, Grandpa and grandma had a farm just outside of town. I think grandfather’s first name was John, and grandmama,s name was Claudia. Their family name is Quam.
    they had a large family, but the only one who stayed home was the youngest son, Carl. I think all of the family has passed except Clara who is in a nursing home in Fargo. I was last there about 70 years ago, but making one more trip is on my bucket list
    Sincerely, Rev. Burton Stigen, Vinton, LA

  16. My cousin Sharon and Pickles have the bar in Hamar .Sharon Moses the yard up there.Both are proud of the town

  17. My brother, Virgil Ford, had a farm in Hamar across the road from Gleasons. My parents lived there for a while before moving into Tolna. He sold the property to a Doctor from Devils Lake. I visited the area many times.

  18. I lived in Hamar for two years back in 82-83. I rented the house the elevator owned, and taught in Warwick. The pop. was 10 back than. Such a sweet little town with wonderful people.

    • Vic, I don’t like I ever knew that you lived in Hamar..My Dad grew up in Hamar. He lived in the white house across the street from the Lutheran Church. I have always wanted to go there and see what’s left of the house and barn. I don’t think anybody lives in the house anymore.

  19. I have many fond memories of Hamar. When I was a kid and visited in the summers my uncle would bring cream to town to Joy Ward who ran the store and was the postmistress as well. She was a cousin to my mother. My mother’s family homesteaded 1 mile north of Charlie Christofferson’s. Hamar has changed.

  20. My mother Bertha Kallestad taught at Hamar in the mid 1940’s. She had fond memories.

  21. I lived in Hamar from 1922 to 1943. I was born near the Sheyenne River . I loved those years I spent in Hamar. The people were always so friendly. A person can leave North Dakota but the North Dakota spirit always remains with you.

  22. Oh wow. I ran across this website while doing research for my Ancestry.com family tree. My Grandmother Isabella Hjelden lived in Hamar most of her life. She actually had a house right next to the Post Office at one point and then also just across from the elevators at another time. I remember going in to that bar on the corner one year when I came back for a family reunion. We would have family reunions at a place just outside of Warwick at a place called Doyle Park. I love that Hamar is featured in one of your books and I will definitely purchase.

  23. My maternal grandmother, Jenny Flowers, lived in Hamar for many years and ran the town cafe, which was also her house. I have great memories visiting as a child in the summer months through the mid-50s and finally in 1960. Even then, Hamar was sparsely populated. I spent many hours exploring the school house and the movie theater and other abandoned buildings and visiting family friends and relatives at nearby farms. Many of the names in this forum are so familiar, and I’m sure I met more than a few LaMottes, Christoffersons, Joramos, Gilletts, etc. as a child. Good times.

  24. My Grandfather, Ray Haas, was in the first eighth grade graduating class from the Hamar Grade School. Yep, him and one other girl! Also, my Grandmother, Hazel Gillett Stenson’s father Clyde Gillett, was the first mail carrier. Delivered the mail with horse and buggy. Then he later owned the General Store. I remember the day the elevator burned.

  25. My mother (a Gleason) graduated from Hamar HS. She played on a very good girls BB team. She left behind a book full of cheers. I like this one the best
    lutefisk lefsa limber cheese
    all for Hamar STAND UP AND SNEEZE

  26. Ya. Vist my mother Agnes Gleason born in 1918 was valedictorian of her hamar graduating class. She lived five miles from hamar but rode an old work horse into hamar Monday morning patted him on his butt and he went back to the farm
    She lived upstairs in a house not too far from school and never had a btu of heat sent up to her room the whole winter
    It must have been okay as when we were kids we had the same treatment on our farm near Buxton

    All my uncles and aunts Peter Henry Gina Inga Leif Philip Edward are long gone but I have fond memories of them and hamar
    I also have great memories of my cousins Harold Robert Gleason and others. Those good old days were good
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