Another Visit to Cayuga

Cayuga, North Dakota

In summer of 2014, I stopped in Cayuga on my way back from South Dakota and was shocked at the number of great photo opportunities. I was at the end of a long day and just snapped a few shots, making a mental note to come back. We were thrilled to discover it’s just as beautiful in the fall as it is in the summer.

Cayuga, North Dakota

We spoke with a local businessman, Butch, a super-friendly gentleman who owns Cayuga’s bar, the red building on the left. We were very surprised when he said our last visit actually brought business into his bar, and he connected with a cousin he hadn’t spoken to in thirty years through the Facebook comments.

Cayuga, North Dakota

Butch told us this building was the grocery store, and also a hotel at one time. When I visited Cayuga in June, this place still had windows. I neglected to ask what happened to prompt the plywood blinds.

Cayuga, North Dakota

The old post office is the tiny building in the middle, hiding in the trees.

Cayuga, North Dakota

 The brick building on the left was the International dealer.

Cayuga, North Dakota
Cayuga, North Dakota

Cayuga is in Sargent County, about 40 miles southwest of Wahpeton.

Cayuga, North Dakota
Cayuga, North Dakota
Cayuga, North Dakota
Cayuga, North Dakota
Cayuga, North Dakota

The fall colors were about a week from peak when we were there, but windy weather had already stripped many of the colorful leaves from their limbs.

Cayuga, North Dakota
Cayuga, North Dakota

The incredible church shown below is actually in neighboring Geneseo, but we photographed it and included it here because a) it’s amazing and b) because a number of Cayuga residents call this church home. We included it in our book, Churches of the High PlainsSts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Cayuga is still active, too.

Geneseo, North Dakota

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

15 Comments on “Another Visit to Cayuga

    • Linda

      My sentiments exactly! I think I looked at the blue skies as much as the buildings themselves.
      Where do the customers come from to keep Butch’s place and the restored store? Surrounding communities?

  1. WOW!!! You guys sure know how to do a wonderful job with the camera! I live not too far from there, at Colfax, but worked around Geneseo for the Telephone Co. based out of Abercrombie. I was always amazed how neat some of these little towns are kept up with so many of the former residents and business places gone. Must be a lot of community PRIDE! Hey, keep up the great work guys. This web site is ,by far, one of my favorites! Thanks for sharing.

    Lynn Mickelson.

  2. Hey guys, Great work. I’m a Hospice worker and I often have to go to Cayuga. I was told by a resident of Cayuga that the windows on the old hotel are boarded up because the building is being restored and it will be used as a store once again. the last time I was there they were just finishing putting a new metal roof on it. It will be fun to see it progress and see how it turns out. Pretty neat having new life in a town that has so little left.

  3. The large brick building was Kiefer Equipment.
    Pete Kiefer just passed away at 95 according to Fargo Forum today.
    Not from that area but used to stop & visit him up until 10-15 yrs ago.
    Had a huge 2 day Auction sale a few years ago……that store was full!! & Pete was mounting tractor tires for customers in his 70’s/80’s.

    Will always remember the huge picture of JFK hanging behind counter above cash registar!!!

    Thanks! Great Memories!!

  4. Spent many summers there! My uncle, George farmed a few miles out of town. We would go to Cayuga for groceries as well as haul the cream cans in. Take the cream check over to Bud’s grocery for supplies! I remember being allowed to go in to the bar with George, one time! The stools were so high, George needed to lift me up. Thought the bar owners was Tommy!. Anyways-After getting my seat , I was asked “What” I wanted to drink–I sat up as high and straight as I could and in my best squeaky voice yelled out a Grain Belt!–They all laughed as George told the bartender to “”Give the boy a sodde’ pop!!

    • I lived in Cayuga for my first 18 years. There were two bars: Mike’s and Tommy’s.
      The proprietors were Mike Gomarko and Tommy Cryan. I will be stopping by in the next month or two.

  5. Lived in Cayuga from 1984-2005 I raised three boys there and also 2 girls for awhile we lived in three houses there I was on Cayuga park board for many years my kids all went skating at the hall every year they always loved to go to Pete’s for candy and soda. Sliding down the hill was always a big thing with the kids in winter it was a good place to raise kids.

  6. Don’t remember there ever being a hotel but wondering if you think grocery store was hotel. Big white bldg that needs painting and boarded up….

    • It was a hotel early on prior to Johnny Mosey operating a grocery store (my mother actually worked in it when a hotel). Later Johnny sold to Milton (Bud) Isensee. My first job at 8 years of age was stocking shelves for Bud. Great place to live and grow up.


  8. The grocery store was originally a hotel that was built in1902. The hotel was owned by my great grandparents who owned and operated it for 30 years.

  9. My dad was born there in 1923. Son of Ella David and John Herring.

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