Ringsaker Lutheran and Romness Bridge

Romness Bridge

Someone suggested this place to us last fall, we waited all winter to visit, and it was worth the wait.  Ringsaker Lutheran Church and School are about seven and half miles north of Cooperstown, and they’re rich in history dating back to what is claimed to be the first Christian religious service in Griggs County, in 1879 or 1880.


Ringsaker Lutheran Church in Romness Township.

Ringsaker Lutheran Church

The site of this church and school reminded us of Sims, North Dakota — it’s a beautiful place with gently rolling hills… just spacious and appealing.

Ringsaker Lutheran Church
Ringsaker Lutheran Church

This church and school are featured in our hardcover coffee table book book, Churches of the High Plains, which you can order here.

Ringsaker Lutheran Church

The cemetery on the grounds is beautiful and well-kept, just like the church, with the abandoned one-room school just across the road.

Ringsaker Lutheran School
Ringsaker Lutheran School
Ringsaker Lutheran School

Arthur Skramstad left his mark on the school.

Ringsaker Lutheran Church and School

A short walk south of the church and school leads to a closed road.

Road to Romness Bridge
Romness Bridge

A short hike down the closed road leads to the abandoned and washed-out Romness Bridge. This bridge was built over the Sheyenne River in 1912 by the Great Northern Bridge Co. of Minneapolis. It is a pin-connected Pratt through truss design and it originally had a wood floor. Total cost of the bridge was $4,195.00. It is owned by Griggs County and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Romness Bridge

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, © Sonic Tremor Media

12 Comments on “Ringsaker Lutheran and Romness Bridge

  1. I think the farm house near the ringsaker church and school may have been owned by an Overby family at one time.

    • That is true. We live about 1 mile south of the church, but it now is three miles at least because of the abandoned bridge. My husband attended the school. We live about 3/4 mile from the “Overby” farm which is now used as a hunting cabin.

    • That is the Overby farm in the background. We live about 1 mile south of there right on the Sheyenne River. Wayne’s father’s funeral in 1982 was the last time the church was used. The Chandelier was recently donated to the Griggs County Historical Society and they arranged to have it displayed in the new Griggs County Courthouse. Wayne went through grade school in the school house, and has many memories.

  2. The picture on the Ancestry article is in Trail County. That is not the same as the Ringsaker church near Cooperstown, ND. However, I expect the first settlers in both came from the Ringsaker area in Norway.

  3. There is another Ringsaker Church in Traill county east of Buxton, ND. It has been closed for 10 years or so. It is the last remaining structure of the town of Belmont (Frog Point). It was a thriving town during the riverboat days on the Red River.

  4. There was yet another Ringsaker Church north east of Hastings, ND, another near ghost town which should be photographed. That Ringsaker cemetery is still there. My great-grandparents are buried there.

  5. Grandparents – Jens & Mabel Seim Lived in Cooperstown and are buried at Ringsaker Cemetery. Loved the slideshow. Thank you! Would love to hear from anyone who knew my grandparents.

    Linda M. Johnson
    Grandparents: Jens & Mabel Seim – Cooperstown

  6. My aunt, June Fogderud Lende, taught at the Ringsaker school. She still lives in Jamestown.

  7. My grandparents owned a farmstead about 2 miles north of ringsaker. Along with his father, my grandpa farmed land in that area since the early to mid 1900s. They ended up losing the farm to the bank when the hills wouldn’t produce enough crop to pay the bills. I have a few memories of being out there in the country but was too young to enjoy all of it. They moved down the road to a farmhouse before moving to the big town of cooper. He and his children and grandchildren hunted that land until he passed away this year. His parents and other family members are buried there at ringsaker. My brother and I recently took a drive around that area. Beautiful area.

  8. I remember going to this church for a funeral when I was little/young, 9-10 maybe. Would have been around 1963-64. I believe my mother went to that school when she was little, would have been around 1920’s.
    Janette Johnson from Cooperstown, 1 of 11 kids. Might have been her older siblings as she was the second youngest, born 1916. They too lost the farm when my Grandfather died and moved to “Cooper”. What a different world it was back then.

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