Thelen, North Dakota

Thelen in Repose

Thelen is a true ghost town in Golden Valley County, about eight miles south of Beach. We previously posted a gallery of Thelen photos sent in by Dave Thorson, but this was our first time visiting in person.

Thelen, North Dakota

We discovered some of the things Dave photographed are now gone, leaving this complex of buildings near the elevator as the primary remnants of Thelen.

Thelen, North Dakota

We were hiking out to this elevator, and just when we were in thigh-deep grass, we got a little paranoid about rattlesnakes. We heard a few of ’em during our travels on this particular weekend.

Thelen, North Dakota

There’s more historical information on Thelen in the original post.

Thelen, North Dakota
Thelen, North Dakota
Thelen, North Dakota
Thelen, North Dakota

Our visit to Thelen was notable for a strange calm that fell across the landscape as we arrived. It had been windy all weekend, but as we started to explore this place, the wind calmed and the sssshhhhhhh sound from the blowing prairie grasses quieted in a strange contradiction. Coupled with the strange, smoke-filled skies, I found myself looking through the viewfinder longer than I normally would, searching for something in this kind of shadowy, illusory atmosphere where shadows weren’t crisp and sunlight was veiled… and it was quiet.

The stillness was contagious. Even after we left, when we were in the car, Terry and I were kind of quiet for awhile. It’s clear, Thelen doesn’t have many more years as a place you can visit.

Thelen, North Dakota
Thelen, North Dakota
Thelen, North Dakota
Thelen, North Dakota

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

3 thoughts on “Thelen in Repose”

  1. Thanks for the great pictures of the old Thelen farmsite. I visited the hmesite many times as a child and have many fond memories of family and friends. It pains me to see the buildigs in such poor shape but we the family live in SD and cannot care for the site as we should.Im sure my grandfather had high hopes for the town wnen he founded it, but the 30s were hard times all over.
    Thanks again, John Thelen

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    1. My grandpa Paul Peplinski and my uncles Dave and Dan Peplinski bought the elevator in Thelen in the late 80’s early 90’s. They used it to store grain still into the 2000’s. I would have to ask for sure when they finally emptied it. I believe it was due to water issues in the pit that they could no longer use it.

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  2. My grandpa Paul Peplinski and my uncles Dave and Dan Peplinski bought the elevator in Thelen in the late 80’s early 90’s. They used it to store grain still into the 2000’s. I would have to ask for sure when they finally emptied it. I believe it was due to water issues in the pit that they could no longer use it.

    Like

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