Nome, North Dakota

Nome, North Dakota

This is Nome, North Dakota, in Barnes County, about 20 miles southeast of Valley City.  I was delivering books earlier this week and stopped to shoot Sheldon, North Dakota since I was in the area, and the highway took me right through Nome as I was on the way home, so I pulled-in and grabbed a few shots.

Nome, North Dakota

According to the 2010 Census, there are 62 residents of Nome, North Dakota.

Nome School

In 2005, Terry and I stopped in Nome to photograph the old school as we were passing through on our way to somewhere else. The photo above is how it appeared in 2005.

Nome School

Today, you can see the trees have grown quite a bit, and the full summer foliage nearly hides the school from view entirely. This “Then and Now” animation shows the difference between a photo postcard view from 1919 and the shot we got in 2005.

Nome School

I was hoping to get inside and take some photos, so I drove around the back, thinking the property owner might be there and I could ask permission to go in, but I just ran into a dead end, so I snapped this shot and left, not wanting to upset anybody.

Nome, North Dakota
Nome, North Dakota
Nome, North Dakota

There’s still plenty of life in Nome, but some cool abandoned structures to shoot too.

Nome, North Dakota
Nome, North Dakota

I looked around to see if the Nome Bank building in this postcard was still standing, but I didn’t see it anywhere.  The bank shown below does not appear to be the same building.

Nome, North Dakota
Nome, North Dakota

This farmhouse was just off the side of the highway about three miles south of town.

Nome, North Dakota
Nome, North Dakota
Nome, North Dakota
Nome, North Dakota
Nome, North Dakota
Nome, North Dakota
Nome, North Dakota

A peek at the top floor. I didn’t dare go all the way up due to the condition of the floors and the roof. Below, what remains of the kitchen.

Nome, North Dakota

Photos by Troy Larson, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

28 Comments on “Nome, North Dakota

  1. The farmhouse is such a shame. You can see, even it this state of decay, what a beautiful home it once was. I always feel bad when I see stuff like this. I don’t think these new fangeld houses can hold a candle to these wonderful old homes.

  2. Sharon,
    One man’s treasure is another man’s junk…..society is about advancement and advancement means changes, and changes are about gain and wealth and what was, is always left behind in the dust,…….that’s why they call it historical or history.
    With the Industrial revolution, man stopped artisan-ship, craftsmanship, and hand crafting with simple sharp tools.
    The trades in this country amazingly have all but died out, and in less than a hundred years.
    The Chinese know,… what we used to do…..and are more than willing to do it cheaper.
    The only thing that is handcrafted anymore are coffee and hamburgers in some high end stock market invested yuppie store in places like Seattle , Minneapolis or Denver.

  3. I live in Nome, and find this to be really cool. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

    • Leanne,
      You live in Nome? Do you know a good carpenter who can should a beautiful little stone hunting cabin about 2 miles south of Nome? I want a place to come back to my roots and have a retreat. Just a grove of trees now, but I wanna make it special. 512-636-3766 Seth

  4. Love the pictures. I’ve lived in both Sheldon and Nome, and love the old buildings. I do agree with you Sharon about the old houses… I would have loved to seen this home in it’s prime :)… Such gorgeous trim on it! Excellent job on the photos Troy. Keep up the good work!

    • As a North Dakotan who has lived in Alaska for 43 years, I note that Nome ND shares a name with Nome AK. One theory is that Nome AK got the name from the Nome Valley near Kvænangen, Norway. Really liked the photo of the school. For more like that, Troy might want to check out Mercer, on 200 — east McLean county. The last time I went by there, I thought that the school would make a really cool photo.

  5. Thank you for sharing these picture of my hometown. The decay of the school is the most painful since I spent grades 2 – 11 in that building. So many memories!

    • Hi Joyce! I’m Beverly Stensgard and my sister Carol was trying to remember the name of our music teacher who taught the 7th & 8th graders!! Her name was Mrs. Herk but we can’t remember her first name. Do you remember her at all? My brother Harvey remembered she had a daughter named Bonnie! I’m sure she’s deceased by now but I thought maybe they would have a list of all our teachers from Nome in our Nome Community History Book but they don’t! My email address is:

  6. I wish that I could put into words the flood of emotions your pictures of the “farmhouse was just off the side of the highway about three miles south of town.”
    That house was the home to my Great Uncle and Aunt.
    It broke my heart to see what it looks like now. After Tante Elsie (Aunt Elsie in Norwegian) passed away, the farmstead became the property of someone else.
    I shed quite a few tears, but then started to smile remembering the gatherings at her home that always included her AWESOME sugar cookies. I remember sneaking into the pantry in the kitchen and stealing a few extra krumkake and of course, more sugar cookies!
    I could see her butt sticking out from under the porch as she grabbed kitten after kitten for her great niece to play with.
    I shared this with Mom and we did a lot of reminiscing. It was strange how I could still remember what furniture was in each corner, at one point I realized I didn’t see the piles of junk on the floor, instead I saw how Tante had decorated her home.
    I was terrified to walk up the stairs more than 25 years ago, I’m not sure how you walked up as far as you did!
    Thank you.

    • Thank you for sharing your memories of Nome. My grandfather was the pastor (Rev. Gustav Hegg) in that community from 1925-1937. My mother was born in Nome and attended the school until age nine when her father died and the family relocated to St. Paul. I’ve visited Nome, several years ago, with my parents. My mom had a wonderful time sharing her memories with me about the community. Today, she lives with me and my husband. She will be 90 in December and is the last of her generation. Unfortunately, she suffers from dementia and many of her memories are gone. Thanks again for sharing yours.

    • I live in Nome currently, and am sad to say that this farmhouse was torn down a month or two ago. All that’s left is 2 piles of dead pushed down trees, and clean flat ground.
      On another note, roughly a month before it was pushed down, my son and his best friend got permission from the owner to salvage some wood from there. The house was so picked over by other people, there was really nothing left for them to get out of the house itself, plus it was quite dangerous to be in there with all the broken floorboards, nails, glass, etc.
      However, they did get some fantastic beams and iron from an old rail car that was also crumbling away in the yard. My son and this friend do craftsman carpentry projects, so will make mantel pieces, and maybe some tables out of the beams, and use the iron for some project as well. They’re very good at what they do, and their projects will be beautiful. They also include pictures of the buildings where they got the wood from, so there will be house and farm pictures included when their projects are completed.

  7. New building going up in picture #5(or 6, if one includes the one at the very top of the page)!! Right next to the Quonset-type building; looks like the deck is finished, and there is a bundle of roof trusses sitting in front. I love to see that -there’s still life in that small town!

  8. I’m looking for information about Hazel Nelson (born in 1905) and or Adolph Anderson (born in 1903 died in 1972.) Was hoping I could find school pictures or any information. Anybody have any suggestions? Who would be a good contact in Nome or nearby? Thanks…

    • I found Adolph Anderson in the Nome Community History book. If you will send me your email address, I’ll send you a copy of the page. I’ll have to look through about 300 pages of family histories to try to find Hazel. Is Nelsen her married name or maiden name? I’ll look closer when I get home this evening. There is a Nome School Alumni organisation that I will try to put you in touch with also. Someone there may have the old yearbooks or know what happened to them.

      • Hi Joyce,
        Where is this Nome Community History Book? In Nome? I am wondering if there are any pictures of Arnold’s Bar in there. It was owned by my great grandfather I believe. Evelyn Ruud was my great Aunt, and her brother Arnold was my grandfather. I was hoping to get a copy of a picture of the bar in its prime. If you come across any let me know. Thank you


        • People who lived in Nome during the 90’s probably have a copy of the book. Check with your Huseby cousins! The library in Valley City may have a copy. I found Arnold Ruud mentioned a few times. There is a picture from the inside of the bar as well as a picture of Arnold’s parents. If you send me an email I’ll make copies of the pages and get them to you.

    • my grandma was minnie nelson. my mother was lillian, my aunt hazel was my favorite, i am i can put you in touch with hazels great grandaughter in fargo. i am looking on this site to find information on my grandma minnie, i sure loved her. my mother is buried in the cemetary next to her parents there in nome.. please contact me . i am also on facebook.. ty

  9. Looking for grandmother Evelyn Grace Ensign biological parents. She was born July 4, 1911 in Nome. Thank you.

  10. That white building with a car parked in front of it, I wonder if that was Dr. Nesse’s office in the 1940’s.

    • Love the photos and comments. Just found the web site and that is Doc Nesse office. I am Doc Nesse grandson and spent my early years in Nome/Valley City. I was the last baby Doc Nesse delivered.

  11. Loved these photos! My mother, Verna Danielson, was born in Nome and attended the school you pictured. I’ve been through there and have heard many stories of Nome life.

  12. Pingback: The Haunting End of Eastedge, North Dakota

  13. Thanks for the pictures. My grandparents, Emil and Amanda Wigen farmed a couple miles north of Nome. I fondly remember visiting them each summer. My mother, Merlene, always remembered the cold winters and going to school through the snow. Uffda.

  14. So that is Nome today, is there a photo archive of Barnes county? My father was born there and I been looking up a little family history. It would be of interest to me.

    Thank you very much,


  15. Love the photos and comments. Just found the web site and that is Doc Nesse office. I am Doc Nesse grandson and spent my early years in Nome/Valley City. I was the last baby Doc Nesse delivered.

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