As we drove north along County Road 19 about four miles south of Cooperstown, I was blabbing on about something when Terry suddenly pointed. “What’s that?”
We had just passed the junction of 19 and 22, and atop a small hill on the east side of the road, a large brick structure was barely visible through the trees. I pulled the car into the driveway, and we found ourselves thirty feet from the highway but almost completely shielded from view by the shelter belt that runs the perimeter of the property. If we had been driving this same stretch of road in the summer, with the leaves on the trees, we might not have seen this place at all.
This structure is less than a mile east from the rural settlement of Shepard, North Dakota. The size of the building and the larger estate (the barn you’ll see below), plus the fact that it has a name — “Shepard View” — made us wonder whether this had once been a boarding house or an institution of some kind.
Update: Visitor Dustin tells us this home is likely the former estate of David Marson. The Marsons arrived in Griggs County from Derby, England in 1889.
We know of one photographer who visited this place and fell through the floor, breaking an arm (above the elbow–ouch!) It’s just a reminder that rural exploration (#rurex) is a dangerous hobby, and that one takes substantial risk visiting decaying places like this. Be careful, and if possible, take photos of interiors from outside, through the windows, like we did with the photos shown here.
A look inside the barn.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp